In February 2019, the government announced a review of the means test for legal aid.
On 15 March 2022, after completion of the review, the Ministry of Justice opened a consultation into its proposed reforms to the Legal Aid means tests for both civil and criminal legal aid.
YLAL has sought to address the questions within the consultation that are most relevant to our members within this response. As aspiring and junior lawyers, much of the administrative burden of legal aid applications falls on our members. Our response therefore focuses on those questions contained within the review that address the administrative burden and sustainability of legal aid.
While YLAL appreciates the recommendation for allowing more people to qualify for legal aid, it does not solve the issue of the sustainability of the legal aid industy. Given the lack of support for legal aid providers, for both financial security and administrative burdens, the increase in access to legal aid would be undermined.
YLAL is indebt to the volunteers who contributed to this review - their names are credited in the Report.
Click here for the Report.