Legal Aid Scheme

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 18th April 2019.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee of Privileges, Chair, Committee of Privileges, Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the process is by which the civil and criminal legal aid means test thresholds have been evaluated since they were last reviewed and uprated in 2008 and 2009.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Holding answer received on 17 April 2019

The financial thresholds for civil and criminal legal aid were reviewed by MoJ Ministers in January 2010, March 2011 and March 2016, following advice from officials. Separately, the means test thresholds were reviewed at official level within MoJ in January 2012 and between October 2013 and January 2014.

The Legal Aid Means Test Review, announced by MoJ in February 2019, will be studying the thresholds for legal aid entitlement, including the effectiveness with which the means testing arrangements appropriately protect access to justice, particularly for the vulnerable. As part of the review process, we will evaluate a wide range of evidence from both within and outside of government, liaising with experts from across the field to explore any improvements to the system.

Upon conclusion of the review, expected by summer 2020, we will publish a full consultation paper setting out our future policy proposals in this area. We will seek to implement any final recommendations as soon as practicable following public consultation.

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