Letter received from Sarah Dines MP, the Under-Secretary of State for Justice
You will note that Government has confirmed that it will not apply the 15% increase to the 58,000 cases in the current backlog despite there being no legal obstacle to doing so, and despite the fact that, to do so, would involve an extremely modest additional cost to the Ministry of Justice.
Nor is Government prepared to provide a timetable for implementation of the further reforms to the AGFS.
We know that you will all be deeply dismayed, if not angered, by Government’s continuing intransigence to take any urgent action to prevent the continuing exodus of barristers from criminal legal aid work and to address the immediate need to increase fees on current cases which will take years to work through the system.
At the national zoom meeting next week, we will therefore consult with our members on how we should respond to this latest statement from Government.
Please be ready to voice your opinions.
All options are very much open.
Jo Sidhu QC Kirsty Brimelow QC
Chair Vice Chair