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Legal Aid Scheme: Prisoners

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 131126, tabled on 6 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment the Government has made of the implications for the public purse of the judgment in the case of R (Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prisoners’ Advice Service) v the Lord Chancellor.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

15 March 2018

In response to the Court of Appeal judgment, the Government decided to reinstate criminal legal aid funding to three discrete areas of prison law, namely: pre-tariff reviews where the Secretary of State seeks the advice of the Parole Board on whether life and Imprisoned for Public Protection prisoners may be transferred to open conditions; Category A Reviews; and referrals to close supervision centres. At the same time, the Government also decided to bring referrals to separation centres within scope of criminal legal aid. The regulations giving effect to these changes came into force on 21 February 2018.

The impact assessment published alongside the regulations confirmed that this policy change would result in increased expenditure from the Criminal Legal Aid Fund estimated to be in the region of £1.1 million per year (

Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.