22.08 Crown Court means-testing – Consultation
In October 2006, the Government introduced a means-testing scheme for legal aid for defendants being tried in the magistrates’ courts.
The Government states that means-testing in magistrates’ court has been successful and has saved £65 million by ensuring that those who can afford to pay for their defence costs do so. The Government now proposes to extend the remit of means testing to the Crown Court.
Proposals setting out the design of the Crown Court means-testing scheme have been published for consultation by the Ministry of Justice and the legal Service Commission.
The Government accepts that the greatest challenge will be to adequately fund those Crown Court defendants whose means are below threshold levels, but at the same time continue to ensure the effective working and efficient delivery of justice, including timely case management.
ILEX would welcome the views of members on all or any part of the proposals.
The consultation can be accessed on the following link:
Questions for consideration can be found on pages 35-36 of the proposals.
The deadline for comments is 29th January 2009.