The Law Society is part of a working group engaging with the MoJ and LAA on the Criminal Legal Aid review (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/criminal-legal-aid-review). The review is intended to be a ‘root and branch’ review of the criminal legal aid fee schemes.
As part of this, the MoJ and LAA staff have volunteered to ‘shadow’ solicitors’ firms and barristers’ chambers around the country in order to get a better understanding of the issues and challenges you face. In this area, they are particularly looking for firms in Liverpool, Bootle, Wigan and Preston to take part.
The number of days the MoJ person spends at a volunteer firm’s office is for the firm and the MoJ to agree, but it would be great if they could see a range of work – i.e. the office admin as well as courts and police stations.
If you would like to know more or to take part in the scheme please contact The Law Society’s Policy Adviser on criminal legal aid, Alice Mutasa, on 020 8049 3714 or via email at Alice.Mutasa@lawsociety.org.uk .
If anyone would like to hear from someone with first-hand experience please contact the Co-Chair of the Law Society’s Criminal Law Committee Ian Kelcey. He has already had an MoJ volunteer in his office in Bristol for a few days so can tell you how it went: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, The Law Society are keen to receive case studies, clients (can be anonymised) who are willing to talk about their case and their experience of the criminal justice system. Please contact Vicki Butler, the Law Society’s Campaigns Manager, for further details at email@example.com .