As we posted yesterday, it is still not entirely clear which of the various civil and criminal reforms will be implemented on 2nd December – or any other date. Here is what is known for certain from what the MoJ and LAA have published so far.
The regulations published so far:
- The Criminal Legal Aid (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 – restrict the scope of prison law, and provide that where a person is eligible for legal aid in the Magistrates Court they are also eligible for legal aid in the Crown Court
- The Criminal Legal Aid (Contribution Orders) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 – consequential amendments following changes to eligibility in the Crown Court
- The Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 – move payment rates for VHCCs from contract to regulation and cut them by 30%. The new rates apply to contracts signed on or after 2nd December 2013, and to task lists agreed on or after 2nd December 2013 in existing contracts. Work done under task lists agreed prior to 2nd December 2013 will be at old rates, even if done after that date. The 20% cut to expert fees also apply from that date, but only in cases started on or after 2nd December 2013.
- The Criminal Legal Aid (Financial Resources) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 – removing means tests for prison work taken out of scope, and adding new means test for Crown Court work. Crown Court eligibility changes come into force 27th January 2014 for cases started on or after than date
No contract amendments or regulations have yet been published. But much else has been announced in the last week: