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Transforming Legal Aid Consultation Events May 2013 Legal Aid Policy Team Ministry of Justice 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Transforming Legal Aid Consultation Events May 2013 Legal Aid Policy Team Ministry of Justice 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transforming Legal Aid Consultation Events May 2013 Legal Aid Policy Team Ministry of Justice 1

2 2 Agenda and objectives Objectives Opportunity to seek clarification on proposals Provide initial views/comments on the proposals Help prepare you to submit a response to consultation Agenda Case for reform Part 1: Eligibility and civil fees Question and answer session Part 2: Crime competition and crime fees

3 3 Case for reform Continuing challenging financial environment Need to examine why, what and how we pay Legal Aid Reforms and LASPO Impact on both civil and criminal legal aid But mainly focused on civil legal aid Need to do more: improving public confidence maximising return from limited resource delivering best value for taxpayer Focus now necessarily mainly on criminal legal aid

4 4 Eligibility, scope and merits Five Proposals: Restrict scope of legal aid for prison law Restrict scope to cases that meet one of three criteria: Involves the determination of a criminal charge Engages the right to review of ongoing detention Requires legal representation under Tarrant criteria Use of prisoner complaints system discipline procedures, probation complaints system Financial eligibility threshold in the Crown Court Disposable household income - £37,500 or more Hardship review Payment on acquittal from central funds at legal aid rates

5 5 Eligibility, scope and merits – cont’d Introduce a residence test Two limb test: Lawfully resident in the UK, Crown Dependencies or British Overseas Territories at time of application; and Resident lawfully for 12 month period Exceptions Paying for permission work in judicial review cases Providers only paid for permission application work if permission granted by the Court Similar system to immigration and asylum UT appeals Civil merits test No longer fund cases in the borderline prospects of success category

6 6 Civil and expert legal aid fee reform Proposals Reduce fixed representation fees to solicitors in public law family cases Harmonise advocacy fees in most civil (non-family) cases Remove uplift in rates paid in immigration and asylum Upper Tribunal cases Reduce fees for all experts by 20%

7 7 Questions

8 8 Crime competition Introduction Current market too fragile to sustain further fee cuts Believe competitive tendering is likely to be best way to ensure long-term sustainability & value for money Written Ministerial Statement – Dec 2011 Written Ministerial Statement – Mar 2013 Consultation on the proposed model, not on the principle Key features of proposed model Economies of scale Economies of scope Simplification and greater flexibility Savings objective

9 9 Crime competition – cont’d Key elements of proposed model Scope of new contract: –All criminal legal aid classes of work except:  Crown Court advocacy  Very High Cost (Crime) Cases  Criminal Defence Direct services  Defence Solicitor Call Centre Contract length –3 year contract term plus up to 2 year extension Geographical areas –Procurement areas based on 42 CJS areas –Join areas with low volumes with larger areas –Divide London into 3 areas aligned with CPS

10 10 Crime competition – cont’d Key elements of proposed model – cont’d Number of contracts –Variable by procurement area –Four key considerations:  Conflict – minimum of 4 contracts per area  Sufficient volume  Market agility – scaling up / scaling down  Sustainable procurement –Total contracts: around 400 Types of provider –Partnerships, LDPs, joint ventures, ABSs

11 11 Crime competition – cont’d Key elements of proposed model – cont’d Contract value –Equal share of police station cases –All follow-on work Client choice –Generally no choice in provider allocated –Continuity of representation –Exceptional circumstances Case allocation –Case by case (e.g. each case, by surname, by day of month of birth) –Duty slots

12 12 Crime competition – cont’d Key elements of proposed model – cont’d Remuneration –Price competed:  Police station attendance – block payment  Magistrates’ court representation – fixed fee  Crown Court –Cases with less than 500 PPE – fixed fee –Cases with more than 500 PPE – grad fee –Admin set rates: all other classes of work

13 13 Crime competition – cont’d Key elements of proposed model – cont’d Procurement process –Two stage process:  Pre-Qualification Questionnaire  Invitation to tender –Delivery plan based on quality and capacity –Price Implementation –Process to start in all procurement areas – autumn 2013 –Contracts awarded – summer 2014 –Service commencement – autumn 2014

14 14 Criminal legal aid fee reform Three proposals Restructure the AGFS Harmonise basic fees for EGP, cracked & contested trials Reduce daily attendance fee Apply a taper for trials for day 3 onwards Reduce all VHCC rates by 30% New cases from implementation date Work done on current cases on and after implementation date Reduce the use of multiple advocates Tighten criteria Ensure criteria are applied consistently and robustly

15 15 Questions

16 16 Responding to the consultation Consultation closes:4 June 2013 Ways to respond:Online at: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/https://consult.justice.gov.uk/ In writing to: Annette Cowell Ministry of Justice 102 Petty France London SW1H 9AJ By Enquiries:As above or by phone: Response paper:Due to be published in autumn 2013 at MoJ website


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