Transforming criminal legal aid
On this page:
- 2010 Standard Crime Contract
- The future of very high cost cases
- Means testing in the Crown Court
- Prison Law Funding
- Agreement with The Law Society
- A routemap for criminal legal aid reform
- Progress so far
- For more information
The current Unified Criminal Contract will expire at midnight on 13 July 2010. We have now opened the tender process for the replacement - the 2010 Standard Crime Contract- that will run from 00.01 on the 14th July 2010 for a three-year term (subject to early termination or extension by up to two years). The closing date for applications will be 4pm on 12th March 2010.
For more information please see the Tenders page.
We are in the process of developing a sustainable scheme for very high cost cases. We are working on options in close cooperation with the Bar Council, The Law Society, the Ministry of Justice and the LSC.
The Government has published its response to a joint consultation by the LSC and the Ministry of Justice on Crown Court means testing.
Means testing in all the Crown Courts across England and Wales Crown Courts should be introduced by June 2010, with early adopter courts – Bradford, Swansea, Blackfriars, Preston and Swansea – starting in January 2010.
We plan to introduce new fee scheme to cap the growth in expenditure on prison law funding and ensure high quality of legal advice in July 2010. This follows a consultation in spring 2009.
For more information visit the Prison law funding pages.
In Apr 08 the LSC, Ministry of Justice and The Law Society reached agreement on the Court of Appeal's judgment on the Unified Contract.
We have agreed a clear way forward.
See Documents for a route map for the next 12 months for criminal legal aid.
Means testing in the magistrates’ court is on track to save £35million each year.
Moving to a market based system
Moving to a market based system – such as best value tendering - will ensure that we buy criminal legal services at the best price for the taxpayer as well as ensuring quality.
In the meantime fixed, graduated and standard fees will encourage efficiency and help the market prepare for wider competition.
Read more about our transformation programme on the About us>Transforming legal aid page.
Visit the Criminal justice system initiatives page to read about our work to improve efficiency within the criminal justice system.
Last updated: 15 February 2010