The Ministry of Justice has ‘temporarily paused’ the review of the legal aid means test which the Government had planned to complete by Summer 2020.

Justice Minister Alex Chalk said in response to a parliamentary written question this week: “the impact of the Covid-19 crisis has meant this work has been temporarily paused and a revised timetable for delivery of the review will be announced shortly.”

Alison Pickup, Public Law Project’s Legal Director said:

“Reviewing the legal aid financial eligibility criteria is one of the most practical measures the Government could take to improve access to the justice system.

“Even where legal aid is still available, the current financial eligibility rules are far too tightly drawn. The effect is that many people who are living in poverty, including some who are in receipt of state benefits, are still unable to access the legal support needed to uphold their constitutional and legal rights.”

“We urge the Government to issue a revised timetable as swiftly as possible, and to stick to it.”

Read on: MOJ pauses legal aid means test review, The Gazette, 26 June