Legal Aid Scheme

Justice written question – answered on 12th September 2013.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made, and on what evidential basis, of the effect of the removal from scope of (a) resettlement work and (b) work connected with security categorisation arising from his Transforming Legal Aid proposals; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Between 9 April and 4 June 2013 the Government consulted on a number of proposals to reform legal aid via the “Transforming Legal Aid: delivering a more credible and efficient system” consultation. This included proposals to restrict the scope of legal aid for prison law. We have been clear we must continue to bear down on the cost of legal aid, including around £1 billion of taxpayers' money spent on criminal legal aid a year, to ensure we are getting the best deal for the taxpayer and to address questions of public confidence in the legal aid system.

Respondents to the consultation raised a number of issues that will be addressed in the Government response, due to be published shortly.

The impact assessments (IA) published alongside the consultation paper contain the Government's initial assessment of the impact of the proposals, including the data on which the assessments were made. Specific assessments of the impact on resettlement work and security categorisation decisions were not specifically distinguished in the IA that covered the proposals for prison law. Impact assessments will be published alongside the forthcoming response, setting out the Government's final assessment of the impact of the proposals to be implemented.

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