Legal Aid Reform

UPDATE: A tenth of the £900 million civil legal aid budget was spent on asylum and immigration last year and Mr Clarke aims to further reduce this figure.
UPDATE: A tenth of the £900 million civil legal aid budget was spent on asylum and immigration last year and Mr Clarke aims to further reduce this figure.

He will target payments made to lawyers who make repeated challenges to decisions to turn down claims for asylum or objections to deportation orders.

What Mr Clarke has not said is whether he will be looking at improving the decision making process of the Secretary of State, the majority of these legal challenges are made to rectify poor, and sometimes, illegal decisions.

PREVIOUS BLOG (25.06.10): The Justice Secretary believes major changes need to be made to legal aid system.

Mr Clarke suggested it may be that people have to pay more of their own legal costs than has been the case in the past, sighting criminal and family cases as examples where this should apply. He also sights alternative dispute resolution as a possible method of resolving legal disputes in family cases.

The Government will be carrying out a reassessment of legal aid over the coming months, and a possible public consultation process later this year.

In sighting 'it is justice itself that matters most', Mr Clarke goes on to state that we may only be able to spend money on issues which raise a public, rather than private, interest. In areas of crime, family and immigration, only a very small percentage of cases would have a wider public interest.

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