Legal Aid Review

Scrutiny review - Legal Aid Review Panel

Launch date: 30/08/2018

Review status: Review started

What is the review about?

​We are reviewing changes to the Legal Aid system in Jersey. These changes were originally published in February 2018 in the Draft Access to Justice (Jersey) Law.

The draft law was withdrawn by the new Chief Minister and we expect an amended version to be published soon. We will then start a public consultation so that we can hear the views of members of the public on the changes.

We have already written to a number of key stakeholders to ask for their comments on the draft law.

How to get involved

If you wish to send us comments on the draft law, you can email or use our contact form.

Key changes to the Legal Aid system

The key changes to the legal aid system are:

  • Puts the legal aid system on a statutory basis.
  • Public law (i.e. mainly criminal) cases would be funded centrally.
  • This would be funded through existing resources in the court and case costs budget.
  • A new "criminal law panel" would be formed to replace the existing "Tour de Role" system of legal aid.
  • Under the current system, lawyers can claim costs from public funds when a defendant is acquitted or the prosecution abandons the trial. This will be replaced by a fixed fee for lawyers in all cases.
  • A Legal Aid office would be established to administer the Legal Aid System at a cost of £400k per annum.
  • Guidelines for the Legal Aid system would be published by the Chief Minister on advice from the newly formed Legal Aid Guidelines Advisory Committee.
  • The Chief Minister would, for the first time, be accountable for the Legal Aid system.

Terms of reference

  1. What changes are being proposed to Jersey's legal aid system through the draft Access to Justice Law?
  2. What is the rationale for the proposed changes?
  3. Will the changes improve the legal aid system for:
    1. Service users
    2. The States
    3. The legal profession
  4. Does the draft Access to Justice Law implement the desired policy objectives effectively?
  5. Are there any other areas for concern or issues that need to be considered in relation to the draft Access to Justice Law?


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