Legal Aid Review

Scrutiny review - Legal Aid Review Panel

Launch date: 30/08/2018

Review status: Review started

What is the review about?

​The Legal Aid Review Panel will be scrutinising the proposed Draft Access to Justice (Jersey) Law which will see a number of changes to the Legal Aid Scheme in Jersey. The key features of the draft law 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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