Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Putting legal aid on a fairer and more sustainable basis

The government has this week announced wide-ranging plans to put the legal aid sector on a sustainable footing for years to come, including the biggest pay boost for criminal legal aid lawyers in a decade, as we build back stronger and fairer. 

  • We all owe our whole legal profession a debt of gratitude for keeping the wheels of justice turning over the last two years.
  • That is the government is acting upon the recommendations of Sir Christopher Bellamy’s independent review and investing £135 million extra a year to ensure legal representation is there for those who need it – bringing total taxpayer funding for criminal defence to £1.2 billion a year – and removing the financial cap on eligibility for Crown Court defendants. Other plans in this  ambitious reform of criminal legal aid in decade include boosting pay for criminal legal aid lawyers. 
  • These proposals will make sure legal representation is available for all who need it as we build back stronger and fairer from the pandemic and protect our Criminal Justice System in the long-term. 

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