Legal Aid Scheme: Finance

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Marcus Fysh Marcus Fysh Conservative, Yeovil

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of re-allocating the funding for legal aid for immigration cases to domestic family law mediation cases.

Photo of Marcus Fysh Marcus Fysh Conservative, Yeovil

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of applications for legal aid in relation to (a) family law mediation costs and (b) immigration cases were successful since 2016.

Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Mediation for family law cases is already available under Part I of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).

The department recently conducted an extensive review of LASPO and has announced several changes as part of the Legal Support Action Plan. These included expanding the scope of legal aid in family law to cover representation for special guardianship orders and placement orders.

Data is not held on successful cases, but the Legal Aid Agency does hold data on cases that have started (and are funded by legal aid). These statistics are included below for both family law mediation and immigration cases for the last three years:

Legal aid in cases involving family law mediation

Financial Year

Family Mediation

starts

2016-17

7,611

2017-18

6,302

2018-19

6,515

Note: ‘Proportion started’ data is not held for family mediation matters, as the application process and decision on whether to grant funding is devolved to the solicitor in question (the provider).

Legal aid in cases involving Immigration

Legal help

Civil representation

Financial Year

Grants

Applications

Grants

Proportion granted

2016-17

29,111

1,904

1,404

74%

2017-18

26,609

1,596

1,203

75%

2018-19

28,821

1,535

1,155

75%

Legal help is assistance short of representation. Note: ‘Proportion granted’ data is not held for Legal Help matters, as the application process and decision on whether to grant funding is devolved to the solicitor in question (the provider).

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