Criminal Proceedings: Legal Aid Scheme

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 5th July 2018.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department plans to take to encourage more trainee solicitors to progress into a career in criminal legal aid.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

As the legal profession in England and Wales is independent of Government, responsibility for the training of intending solicitors rests with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The SRA is currently working on introducing a new Solicitors Qualifying Exam, which it hopes will lower costs and open up a variety of routes into the profession.

The Legal Aid Agency monitors capacity across criminal legal aid contracts on a regular basis and takes action to ensure there is ongoing availability of criminal legal advice for the public. Last year £891 million was spent on criminal legal aid so that those who most need legal support are able to get it.

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