Legal Aid to be slashed in UK

clonycavanman

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
656
Apologies for bringing another UK story to the notice of [Ireland-preoccupied, laser-focussed ] patriots, but the UK has been under new management for the last six months and every day, almost, there is something seriously instructive going on there.
BBC News - Legal aid reforms are unveiled by Kenneth Clarke

UK government announced today that it will cut Legal Aid by 350m pounds from 2 billion pa by 2015. The public will stop funding lawyers to represent divorce cases, most immigration cases, and clinical negligence cases.
Ken Clark announced the reform to an almost silent House of Commons, still absorbing last week's plan to cull their numbers by 50 at the next election
Barristers doing civil work will have their income cut by about 42% , estimate experts, those doing criminal work by 12%.
Legal Aid in the UK costs £38 per person! (That's not per client). In France it costs £3 per person, and in Germany £5.

Comment:
A powerful and articulate vested interest, that has known only success for decades, is being taken on. The example will not be lost upon lawyer-ridden Ireland.
 


johnfás

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
2,715
Our criminal and civil legal aid provisions are entirely separate. We have very limited civil legal aid in the first place, far more limited than in the UK. You must pass both a means test and a merits test in order to be eligible. In regard to means you must have income of below 18,000 and you must convince the Board that your case has a reasonable likelihood of success. Criminal legal aid is available to anybody charged with a criminal offence who passes the means test. Quite a difference between the two. We also require people to make a modest contribution to the Legal Aid Board and indeed, the waiting lists are so long it puts many people off ever pursuing cases to vindicate their rights. I say this as somebody with experience in this area.

There are of course incidents of bogus Asylum seekers taking series of flawed judicial reviews. Do they constitute anything like a significant percentage of our legal aid budget? No. There is unfortunately a predominance of family law at the Legal Aid Board and this could be overcome with a greater emphasis on proper arbitration and mediation.
 
Last edited:

corelli

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
4,472
Our criminal and civil legal aid provisions are entirely separate. We have very limited civil legal aid in the first place, far more limited than in the UK. You must pass both a means test and a merits test in order to be eligible. In regard to means you must have income of below 18,000 and you must convince the Board that your case has a reasonable likelihood of success. Criminal legal aid is available to anybody charged with a criminal offence who passes the means test. Quite a difference between the two. We also require people to make a modest contribution to the Legal Aid Board and indeed, the waiting lists are so long it puts many people off ever pursuing cases to vindicate their rights. I say this as somebody with experience in this area.

There are of course incidents of bogus Asylum seekers taking series of flawed judicial reviews. Do they constitute anything like a significant percentage of our legal aid budget? No. There is unfortunately a predominance of family law at the Legal Aid Board and this could be overcome with a greater emphasis on proper arbitration and mediation.
Indeed, and I am not too sure that the withdrawal of funding for all divorce cases will go down well with the ECtHR, where this is bound to end up. The Airey case, itself, was based on a lack, in Ireland, of legal aid in matrimonial cases.
 

Magror14

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
1,870
I saw figures that seem to indicate that our legal aid budget both criminal and civil is about a quarter of the UK's per head of population. Our Legal Aid Board actually received something of a back-handed compliment from Colm McCarthy in his report for its ability to control costs. The total national budget of the Legal Aid Board costs the taxpayer in the region of 20 million a year.
 

corelli

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
4,472
I saw figures that seem to indicate that our legal aid budget both criminal and civil is about a quarter of the UK's per head of population. Our Legal Aid Board actually received something of a back-handed compliment from Colm McCarthy in his report for its ability to control costs. The total national budget of the Legal Aid Board costs the taxpayer in the region of 20 million a year.
Its about 20 million all right, but thats only civil legal aid. Criminal Legal AId cost, last available figures, 60 Million Euro in 2009.
 

clonycavanman

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
656
Whatever happened to ...legal aid cuts in the UK?
Today the Immigration Advisory Service, which employs 300 people, closed it's 14 offices.
A spokesman for the charity said,' The government reforms include the removal of immigration from the scope of legal aid, and a 10% cut in legal aid fees for refugees seeking asylum within the UK.'
BBC News - Immigration Advisory Service goes into administration

Comment: I don't expect many people knew this organisation was dependent upon legal aid.
In the past three days the Disasters Emergency Committee raised £9 million for Somalia in the UK.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top