In early December the MoJ announced a 'fundamental review' of criminal legal aid payment schemes, which includes considering criminal legal aid throughout the 'life cycle' of a criminal case.
Justice Minister Lucy Frazer QC MP wrote at the time: 'Starting in January, we will work with you, the criminal defence profession, to gather the necessary evidence as part of this robust and wide-ranging review. The contribution of the leadership and wider profession to the AGFS has been invaluable thus far and I look forward to building on this close cooperation. The amended AGFS is the first step in a much larger process of reform. We want to ensure that criminal defence remains a sustainable and attractive career, and that individuals continue to have access to justice.'
On 8th May the South Eastern Circuit will host the first public event at which the MoJ will be present to answer questions about the Legal Aid Review. The focus of our event will be Crown Court advocacy. (Other similar events will be hosted by the Law Society that focus on other parts of the CJS).
This event will take place at the Old Bailey in the Bar Mess between 5-7pm. It is hoped that this is the first of a series of such “roadshows” to be held across the country. The event is open to all practitioners on application for a ticket here. Numbers are strictly limited and priority will be given to members of the Circuit. Please try and make sure at least one person from your set attends and can report back.