Civil and crime practitioners may not be aware that David Norgrove’s Family Justice Review could have a big impact on them too.
His interim report recommends that a new Family Justice Service should take on responsibility for various aspects of public funding currently administered by the Legal Services Commission (para 5.57). It might help to make the family justice service more co-ordinated; but could it weaken the body charged with administering the rest of legal aid?
Norgrove also proposes that the LSC and CAFCASS processing centres should be reviewed with the aim of consolidating services (para 3.156). Would a combined LSC/CAFCASS deliver the best or worst of both worlds?
There is also a risk that civil and criminal legal aid could diverge from family over time, with different systems, procedures and contracts. This could be a bit of a nightmare for firms offering a wide spectrum of services.
If you have a view, you have until the 23rd of June to respond. You don’t have to answer all the questions – question 25 on implementation would seem the most appropriate place to raise any concerns.