29 June 2011
Joined Up Approach Required to Deal With Criminal Legal Aid
The Law Society of Northern Ireland has acknowledged the publication of the report on ‘Managing Criminal Legal Aid’ by the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the publication of the report the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Mr Brian Speers said
“The Law Society will require some time to fully consider the content and the recommendations contained in the report.
However it is important to say that the Law Society remains fully supportive of accountability and transparency with regards to public money.
It is very important that those entrusted with public funds must ensure that they put in place proper and adequate checks and controls in respect of financial management.
The Solicitor profession has shown great commitment to providing criminal legal aid services and to maintaining access to a solicitor of choice for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged within the community.
It is important in the current economic climate that legal aid should not be devalued and neglected in an effort to maximise economy and efficiency.
As evidenced by this report a new approach is required in respect of the administration, payment and delivery of criminal legal aid services in Northern Ireland.
This can only be realised through a joined up approach which has as its cornerstone constructive and ongoing dialogue between all parties concerned”.
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