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"A large and important book that should be on the shelf of every family lawyer." Sir James Munby
The impact of the previous Government’s changes to legal aid eligibility
- Civil legal aid Briefly, cases are in scope only where they are specified in Schedule 1 to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. So clinical negligence, education, employment, welfare benefits, debt (except where the client’s home is at risk), housing (except where there is an immediate risk of homelessness) and private law children and family cases where domestic violence is not present are all generally excluded. If in scope, legal aid is also subject to means and merits tests, which have also been tightened.
- Criminal legal aid restrictions have included no legal aid for prison law cases; introducing a financial eligibility threshold of £37,500 (disposable household income) in the Crown Court; and refusing to fund cases with borderline prospects of success. A new contract and fees regime for legal aid work has also been applied,
- Legal profession the previous Government’s proposed 10% reduction in fees for civil and family legal aid providers was expected to yield £72 million in annual savings.