Judicial Review Criminal Legal Aid – Judgment Delivered
Last Friday 13th November 2015, His Honour Mr Justice Maguire delivered his judgment in the judicial review application brought jointly by the Law Society of NI and the General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland to challenge the legality of changes made to criminal legal aid in Crown Court cases in Northern Ireland. He found that the Department of Justice has acted unlawfully in two respects in that the new rules do not give adequate remuneration in cases where solicitors must prepare for a trial but a guilty plea is entered later and also that the DOJ had failed to carry out a proper impact assessment before enacting the rules.
The Learned Judge declined to quash the statutory rules but made a Declaration as he was confident that the Department would seek to rectify the state of affairs without any need for any coercive action on the part of the court.
The Law Society and Bar Council are considering the implications of the judgment before issuing a detailed statement.
Norman Shannon & Co Solicitors have been representing clients in serious criminal cases for over thirty years.
If you require any assistance with a criminal case, please contact Norman Shannon on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 028 9023 1179. In an emergency please phone 07713040319