Legal Aid to Return February 2018!

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has confirmed that an amending statutory instrument (SI) has been laid before parliament, extending criminal legal aid to the three areas where the court had previously ruled against the government, stating that the 2013 cuts had been “unfair”.

In a letter to the Howard League, published by the Law Society Gazette on 3 January 2018,  the MoJ  confirmed that,

“In relation to the restoration of criminal legal aid for the three categories of Prison Law highlighted by the Court of Appeal judgement, I can confirm that the amending SI has today been laid before Parliament.  The provisions it introduces will come into force on 21 February 2018.”

The three areas of Prison Law that will have legal aid provision reinstated are:

  • Pre-tariff reviews by the parole board;
  • Category A reviews (those whose escape would be highly dangerous);
  • Decisions regarding placement in close supervision centre.