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15 AUG 2008

Magistrates concerned over Legal Aid Family Barrister Fee Scheme

The Magistrates' Association has responded to the consultation paper on reforming the Legal Aid Family Barrister Fee Scheme, saying it gives them some serious causes for concern".

In their response, the Association urged that the introduction of proposals to change legal aid be postponed and instead included in the introduction of a single advocacy scheme currently planned in or around April 2010.

In expressing concerns that the new fee scheme might adversely affect the quality of representation in family law cases, the Association has echoed the criticism made last week by the Family Law Bar Association.

The Association also confirmed that they, like the FLBA, are aware that, in some areas, experienced lawyers have left family work, whilst some young lawyers are not opting for family work.

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