With less than three weeks to go, the MoJ and LSC have finally published all the key regulations for the implementation of the new scheme. We now have regulations governing the operation of the civil and criminal schemes, payment rates, financial eligibility and the statutory charge.
Both civil contracts have now been published in full, as have amendments to the crime Standard Terms, but amendments to the crime specification are still awaited. The LSC have said that they will be brought into force by the end of April, so given the six week notice period must be published within the next week or so. Supporting material such as category definitions is also now available.
The LSC’s online training modules are now available, and their face to face training is finally getting underway (though half of the sessions will be in April, after implementation).
Guidance on civil legal aid, on applying for exceptional funding and (released today) on the evidence to prove domestic or child abuse to the standard required to access family legal aid has now been published. We still await further guidance on assessing eligibility, costs assessment and the operation of the statutory charge.
The new forms have been published, but not yet guidance on how they will be completed or the form for applying for exceptional cases.
We have collated key material so far available (including all the above) on our LASPO Resources page, and will continue to add to it as more becomes available. Thanks to the amazing work of our publisher, Legal Action Group, we are also still on course to publish the new Handbook – the only up to date single volume guide to the whole legal aid scheme – at the beginning of April, ready for the start of the new scheme.You can pre-order your copy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: The Kindle edition is now available here