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Criminal Proceedings: Legal Aid Scheme

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 275784, tabled on 10 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the financial impact on defendants of the introduction of an upper limit on disposable income for people claiming legal aid for Crown Court representation.

Answered on

15 July 2019

On 7 February 2019, the Government published the Post Implementation Review (PIR) of Part 1 of The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which included an assessment of the impact of the £37,500 disposable income threshold introduced at the Crown Court: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-implementation-review-of-part-1-of-laspo

Alongside the PIR, the Government also published its Legal Support Action Plan in which it announced a comprehensive review of the wider legal aid eligibility regime; this will include the Crown Court thresholds. The review is expected to conclude by Summer 2020 after which we will publish a full consultation paper setting out our future policy proposals in this area. We will seek to implement any final recommendations as soon as practicable following public consultation.

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