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Inefficiencies in the criminal justice system

28 January 2014

In 2013, the Ministry of Justice introduced two successive consultations on criminal legal aid, proposing significant cuts to the overall budget along with a number of structural changes including flat fees in magistrates' courts and the Crown court and a single national fixed fee for police station work.

The Law Society has consistently opposed cuts to fees as they pose a substantial risk to the sustainability of criminal defence providers. The impact on defence solicitors is particularly acute because of their position at the heart of the criminal justice system.

Criminal legal aid solicitors face the brunt of waste and inefficiency elsewhere in the system - from inadequately trained interpreters to delays in prisoner transport and poor court planning - exacerbating the already challenging conditions they face.

This page collates research, reports and information that highlight waste in the system. Members and practitioner groups may find it useful to refer to this data in their communications: