Social Services: Children

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 8th February 2019.

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Photo of Gloria De Piero Gloria De Piero Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases concerning the Children's Act received legal aid in each year since 2011.

Photo of Gloria De Piero Gloria De Piero Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many applications for legal aid in cases concerning the Children's Act were rejected in each year since 2011.

Photo of Gloria De Piero Gloria De Piero Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have received legal aid in cases concerning care proceedings in each year since 2011.

Photo of Gloria De Piero Gloria De Piero Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people received legal aid for harassment cases in each year since 2011.

Photo of Gloria De Piero Gloria De Piero Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were rejected for legal aid for harassment cases in each year since 2011.

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

Holding answer received on 04 February 2019

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) does not track the number of ‘people’ or ‘cases’ which receive public funding. Each application is assessed on its own merits; individuals may receive legal aid multiple times throughout their lives and one grant will not necessarily correspond with one case. The figures below therefore are reflective of the number of times legal aid was awarded (or not) in the proceedings enquired about.

An application may not be granted for a variety of reasons. This could be for instance because of the means of the applicant, a lack of merit (where the circumstances of the case are unsuitable for public funding), or because of an administrative error with the application itself. Figures concerning applications which were not granted are inclusive of all of these reasons.

Please note that for matters funded under ‘Legal Help’, the application process is devolved to the solicitor, and therefore the LAA does not hold information on how many applications were unsuccessful. For all volumes concerning Legal Help, these refer to those cases billed in that period, as this information is reported to the LAA in arrears once a case has concluded. Volumes on cases granted civil representation are based on closed cases. Volumes on cases not granted funding are based on the time the application was refused.

Wherever you are in England and Wales, advice for welfare matters remains available through a telephone gateway, and face to face advice is available for cases alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation under the Equality Act 2010 or previous discrimination enactment.

Legal aid continues to be available for legal advice and representation for public family law cases, such as care and supervision proceedings. Funding in those cases is available to the children and those with parental responsibility with no further tests as to means or merits being required.

We want to make sure the family justice system puts the interests of children first and minimises the distress that separation causes for families. Our focus is on protecting the most vulnerable and ensuring parents can navigate the system and understand the different options available to resolve their disputes.

Legal aid granted in cases concerning care proceedings in each year since 2011.

Civil Representation

2010-11

27,117

2011-12

34,730

2012-13

42,185

2013-14

54,195

2014-15

46,823

2015-16

42,739

2016-17

48,941

2017-18

56,942

Apr-Sep 2018

29,162

This information is not available for matters funded at Legal Help as data on such pre-proceedings advice is not broken down to the level required to identify the specific proceedings involved.

Legal aid granted/not granted for Children Act cases in each year since 2011.

Civil Representation

2010-11

77,900

2011-12

88,915

2012-13

92,527

2013-14

105,820

2014-15

79,638

2015-16

62,882

2016-17

66,461

2017-18

75,950

Apr-Sep 2018

39,108

Not granted

2010-11

6,801

2011-12

5,604

2012-13

7,685

2013-14

2,855

2014-15

2,654

2015-16

3,072

2016-17

3,828

2017-18

3,574

Apr-Sep 2018

2,177

This information is not available for matters funded at Legal Help as data on such pre-proceedings advice is not broken down to the level required to identify the Act involved.

Legal aid granted/not granted for harassment cases in each year since 2011.

Civil Representation

Legal Help

2010-11

415

813

2011-12

325

250

2012-13

275

142

2013-14

182

53

2014-15

133

34

2015-16

109

21

2016-17

84

18

2017-18

81

18

Apr-Sep 2018

41

7

Not granted

2010-11

85

2011-12

64

2012-13

45

2013-14

21

2014-15

24

2015-16

40

2016-17

41

2017-18

27

Apr-Sep 2018

12

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