Engagement and activities

Lord Chancellor's Expert and Advisory Panel on the Criminal Legal Aid Review

Dr Vick Kemp has been appointed by the Lord Chancellor to an Expert and Advisory Panel, chaired by Sir Christopher Bellamy
QC, to examine the long-term sustainability of the criminal legal aid system. The review will consider the criminal legal aid system in its entirety, specifically seeking to ensure that it: 

  • provides high quality legal advice and representation
  • is provided through a diverse set of practitioners
  • is appropriately funded
  • is responsive to user needs both now and in the future.
  • contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System
  • is transparent
  • is resilient
  • is delivered in a way that provides value for money to the taxpayer

This Review forms part of wider work to ensure criminal defence remains an attractive career for practitioners now and in the future.

Digital Legal Rights 

Arising out of her study into police station legal advice, which included exploring detainees' understanding of their legal rights, and examining potential obstacles to accessing legal advice, Vicky gives regular updates to the Home Office PACE Strategy Board, which is responsible for overseeing the legislation that provides legal safeguards for suspects detained and/or interviewed by the police. 

Her findings on police station legal advice were also presented at the International Legal Aid Group Conference, in Ottawa, Canada,  in June 2019, at the European Society of Criminology in Ghent, Belgium, in September 2019 and, more recently, on 11 February 2021, she gave a virtual presentation on 'Legal aid and young suspects' legal rights in England and Wales' at the La Child International Conference on 'Legal aid for children in criminal proceedings: child friendly legal aid at focus'. 

In taking the Digital Legal Rights project forward, Vicky has a national steering group, chaired by Lord Carlile of Berriew QC CBE. Those attending include Professor Michael Zander QC, a member of the Home Office PACE Strategy Board, and senior representatives from the National Police Chief's Council, College of Policing, Crown Prosecution Service, Law Society, Ministry of Justice, Youth Justice Board, College of Policing, Legal Aid Agency, National Association of Appropriate Adults, Just for Kids Law, Legal Education Foundation and senior academics.

As a Co-director of the University of Nottingham's Criminal Justice Research Centre, Vicky also reports to the Advisory Board, which comprises chief officers involved in the criminal justice system. Chaired by the Recorder of Nottingham, it includes chief officers from the Police, Law Society, CPS, HM Prison, Probation, HM Courts Service, the Legal Aid Agency and the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Previous events and activities 

Vicky was a consultee on the Ministry of Justice's Crime Consultative Group reviewing the post-implementation of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

She has also presented findings arising from this study at an international conference in Vilnius, Lithuania in November 2017. The conference examined quality standards for legal aid as part of the EU project - Enhancing the Quality of Legal Aid: General Standards for Different Countries (No. JUST/2015/JACC/AG/PROC/8632).

Vicky is working with the Ministry of Justice in identifying different ways of explaining to young suspects their legal rights. The App was mentioned by the Ministry when providing the 2018 (paras 37/38( and 2020 (para 123) Updates on the Lammy Review into the treatment of and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System. 

She was invited as an expert on criminal legal aid to attend a meeting of the team working on the EU project -  "Enhancing the Quality of Legal Aid: General Standards for Different Countries"  The project, implemented by Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania, is coming to a conclusion and the meeting in Frankfurt on 25 June 2018 was to prepare Practice Standards for Legal Aid Providers.

Research findings in relation to the digital legal rights project were presented at a workshop on 'Access to Justice in Theory and Practice', coordinated by Aarhus University, Denmark in March 2018. A further workshop was held in November 2019.  

Arising out of her research into clinical legal education, Vicky was invited by Tel Aviv University to attend a workshop to think of law clinics in December 2017. The theme was to think of ‘bringing about social change’, and ‘promoting human rights through public law in Britain.' The workshop included clinicians from projects based in Israel and the UK. Professor John Fitzpatrick, from Kent Law School, provides a very informative summary of the key issues arising at this Workshop. 

Vicky was asked to present a paper on 'Young suspects, diversion and digital legal rightsat a conference hosted by the North and South Ireland Youth Project. The conference was held at Queen's University Belfast in June 2017.  

Affiliations and presentations

Member of the International Legal Aid Group - and the European Society of Criminology