UK Justice Policy Review

Legal aid cost claims challenged

The Bar Council, the professional association for barristers in England and Wales, has challenged the Justice Secretary's claims on the costs of legal aid.

During a recent appearance before the House of Commons Justice Committee Chris Graying, the Justice Secretary, claimed that the 'typical payment' to a senior barrister for a high cost case would be 'around £135,000'.

Chair of the Bar Council Maura McGowan has challenged Mr Grayling's figures, claiming the real amount is around £20,000.

Benefit cap failing

A study by the Chartered Institute of Housing of the implementation of the benefit cap  has found that it is neither saving money nor getting benefits recipients into employment, according to a report in The Guardian. The research, conducted in the London Borough of Haringey, found that the policy had cut £60,000 a week from the benefits bill. However, the council was spending £55,000 a week on short-term discretionary grants to help claimants affected by the policy.

Scrapping of lowest bidder

The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said proposals to award legal aid contracts to the lowest bidders have been scrapped. This follows criticisms that it would reduce justice to a "factory mentality".

Mr Grayling has ditched the proposals after drawing up the government's latest legal aid reforms with the support of the Law Society.

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