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21 June 2016

Law Society response to National Audit Office Report

A spokesperson for the Law Society of Northern Ireland said:

“The National Audit Office report highlights that legal aid provision in Northern Ireland continues to be demand led.

That demand and eligibility for legal aid has increased because of higher levels of social and economic deprivation.

Solicitors throughout Northern Ireland have shown great commitment to providing legal aid services to the community despite significant cuts to their fees and a legal aid budget which has consistently been inaccurately forecast resulting in the need for Department of Justice to top up a budget which has been inadequate since devolution.

A strong legal aid system is a central pillar of a stable and cohesive society and the Society welcomes Minister Sugden’s commitment to prioritising access to justice”.