Legal Aid Scheme: Children

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Lord Falconer of Thoroton Lord Falconer of Thoroton Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many applications for exceptional case funding (non-inquests) have been made to the Legal Aid Agency on behalf of applicants aged under 18 each year since the scheme began in April 2013; and of those, how many were granted.

Photo of Lord Falconer of Thoroton Lord Falconer of Thoroton Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many applications for exceptional case funding (non-inquests) have been made to the Legal Aid Agency from applicants aged 18 to 24 each year since the scheme began in April 2013; and of those, how many were granted.

Photo of Lord Faulks Lord Faulks The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The purpose of the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) scheme is to provide funding where it is legally needed. It does not provide a general power to fund cases which fall outside the scope of legal aid. Legal aid is a vital part of our justice system, but we cannot escape the continuing need to reduce the deficit. We still have a very generous system - last year we spent £1.6bn on legal aid, around a quarter of the department’s expenditure. Every ECF application is carefully considered by the Legal Aid Agency on an individual basis.

Volume of applications and subsequent grants for non-inquest ECF cases by age category and financial year.

Financial Year

Under 18

18-24

Unknown

Received

Granted

Received

Granted

Received

Granted

2013-14

53

1

81

-

648

4

2014-15

24

5

110

19

61

2

2015-161

12

2

22

9

31

7

Note: Age data for Exceptional Case Funding was collected from October 2013 onwards, hence the larger volume of unknowns in 2013-14 compared to the other years.

1The latest available published data is up to June 2015 so figures for 2015-16 are for one quarter only.

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