Government response to legal aid review unlawful, High Court rules

Government response to legal aid review unlawful, High Court rules

LEGAL
Parts of the Government's response to an independent review into the criminal legal aid system were unlawful, the High Court has ruled.The Law Society of England and Wales took ministers to court after they did not increase the rates criminal defense solicitors receive for legal aid work by a “bare minimum” of 15% as recommended by the 2021 review by Lord Christopher Bellamy KC.At a hearing in London, the professional body for solicitors previously claimed the decision to instead increase the funding by 9%, followed by a further 2% rise in 2024, was unlawful.In a ruling on Wednesday, Lord Justice Singh said officials did not breach their duty to provide a criminal defense service in failing to increase the fees to the suggested 15%.However, the judge, sitting with Mr Justice…
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Ministers face legal battle with criminal solicitors over legal aid |  Legal aid

Ministers face legal battle with criminal solicitors over legal aid | Legal aid

LEGAL
Ministers could face a legal battle over their refusal to increase legal aid rates for criminal defense solicitors in England and Wales by the minimum recommended in an independent review.The Law Society, the professional body for solicitors, claims there has been an “unlawful and irrational” failure to implement the 15% minimum increase recommended by Christopher Bellamy as necessary to sustain the future of the criminal justice system.It has issued legal proceedings after it put the government on notice through a pre-action letter sent to the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, in January, warning that it would go to the high court if he did not rethink the decision.Lubna Shuja, president of the Law Society, said it had been left with “no choice” but to take legal action after Raab, who also…
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