To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases in the (a) criminal and (b) civil courts were funded wholly or partly through legal aid in the last year for which figures are available; and what the equivalent figures were (i) five and (ii) 10 years previously.
The following table provides information on legally aided cases in the criminal courts in 1997-98, 2002-03 and 2007-08.
The number of magistrates courts claims provides a reasonable proxy of the number of cases legally aided although in some cases there may be more than one claim if two or more people are represented. The majority of representation orders granted in the Crown court and above will have also received representation in the magistrates' court but a minority will not. In the Crown court, on average, there are 1.2 representation orders per case (again, where more than one defendant is involved in a case).
I am unable to provide an answer in respect of the civil courts, as this information is not held centrally. In particular, many legally aided cases are completed without ever needing to come to court.
|Magistrates courts claims||Representation orders—Crown court and above|