We’ve been working on a long-term project to develop the framework for our decision-making on legal aid applications and accounts.
This is our Guidance on the Administration of Legal Aid (GALA) project.
You’ve already seen some of outputs from this long-term programme of work:
We’ve looked across the aid types and documented all the decisions we make on applications and accounts. For each of these decisions, there will be:
It is intended primarily for our decision-makers about:
It will be designed for our staff to use to support them, as required, when making their decisions or training a new member of staff. This will be available on our website as reference material.
Historically, the Legal Aid Handbook was the main source of information about, and guidance on, legal aid. It was a resource used by both our staff and solicitors.
However, we recognised that this was no longer sufficient to meet the needs of both and we needed to take a different approach. This project will help us:
This is an extended programme of work.
We’ll have policy statements and guidance for multiple decisions under development at any one time.
You’ll receive an update each time we issue the new material relating to each decision.
As you will appreciate, there will be some decisions that are more complex than others.
Some will require detailed policy development work and there will be consultation exercises.
The Interests of Justice test consultation is the first of these.
Some decisions will be straightforward and will be issued when we complete all of the documents for each decision.
We have now completed the first batch of materials related to a decision: criminal special urgency legal aid in appeals, summary and solemn cases.
There are links to the policy statements and decision-makers’ guidance from the corresponding aid type’s legal aid guidance homepage. The first to be published are available from the ‘Related Legal Aid Policy and Decision-makers’ Guidance’ sidebar on the Criminal legal aid guidance home page.
Your feedback is useful to us and helps shape it for the future. You can give feedback on current published legal aid guidance at any time using the link on every page of guidance on our website.