Duty Solicitors: Carshalton and Wallington

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 21st February 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the long-term viability of the criminal duty solicitor scheme in Carshalton and Wallington constituency.

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

The Government is clear that there are sufficient solicitors to undertake criminal legal aid-funded cases and will make sure this continues to be the case. The Legal Aid Agency monitors duty solicitor coverage on an ongoing basis and where issues are identified, takes action to ensure there is ongoing availability of criminal legal advice for the public.

The LAA recently ran a consultation with criminal legal aid firms in the Borough of Sutton that includes the Carshalton and Wallington constituency. The consultation was run to ensure on-going duty solicitor provision in the Borough of Sutton in response to the decision by the Metropolitan Police that detainees that would have been taken to Sutton police station will now be taken to Bromley and Croydon police stations. As a result of the consultation, these detainees will continue to be served by duty solicitors on the Sutton Duty Scheme when they are taken to either Bromley or Croydon Police Station.

The Government has also commenced a review of all criminal legal aid fee schemes, including the criminal duty solicitor fee scheme, which will report back by the end of Summer 2020.

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