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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London lawyers refuse legal aid jobs in dispute over fees | Legal aid

LAW
Solicitors in London are turning down new instructions for defendants accused of assaults on emergency workers and harassment offenses in an escalating dispute over legal aid fees.Criminal defense lawyers in the capital are already refusing burglary cases because they say legal aid fees are too low.Hesham Puri, head of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA), said: “The impact will be people being unrepresented and huge delays for victims and witnesses. Of course, we don't want that, but the work is just so badly paid. The entire system is broken from years of underfunding and lawyers have had enough.“If we don't fight for the future of our ailing profession now, in five years' time police stations and magistrates courts will no longer have proper access to justice. Victims, witnesses and…
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