The hearing of R (The Law Society) v the Lord Chancellor begins today in front of the High Court.

The Law Society are challenging the decisions of the Lord Chancellor not to implement the recommendations of the Criminal Legal Aid Independent Review in full.

The Criminal Legal Aid Independent Review was a government commissioned review into the state of the Criminal Legal Aid Market. Lord Bellamy, as he now is, conducted a lengthy and painstaking review into the sustainability of firms who conduct legally aided criminal defence work. His report recommended a 15% increase in fees which he considered to be “no more than a minimum starting point”.

The CLSA agree with the Law Society that the decision of the Lord Chancellor not to implement this key recommendation to be unlawful. The CLSA have supported the claim as an interested party and have submitted extensive evidence showing how our members are at breaking point and the consequences of that for practitioners, the courts, defendants, victims, and witnesses.

We look forward to making our arguments in support of the claim and await the judgment with interest.