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Statement endorsed by IoM Law Society

At the January 2019 sitting of Tynwald, the Treasury Minister in his capacity as Chair of the Securing Added Value and Efficiencies (SAVE) Sub-Committee of the Council of Ministers, made a statement to advise that following a request from the Legal Aid Committee, it had been agreed that the scope of the Criminal Legal Aid review should be extended to include Civil Legal Aid.

This extended project has been termed the Legal Aid Review, with a focus on access to justice, quality of service and value for money. Furthermore, following a request from the SAVE Sub-Committee, HM Attorney General has agreed to continue to lead this project.

In broad terms, the next steps up to and including the consultation process are set out below.

The Attorney General's Chambers will:

  • consolidate the qualitative and quantitative information gathered during the initial phase of the project and identify any gaps
  • gather further information as required (subject to its availability)
  • plan a timetable for stakeholder workshops and the launch of two public consultations (subject to the publication of the Legal Aid Committee's response to its 2016 consultation)
  • undertake Criminal Legal Aid workshops to seek stakeholder views and gather information to feed into the formal consultation
  • launch eight week Criminal Legal Aid Consultation
  • examine and analyse consultation submissions
  • carry out further Civil and Family Legal Aid research
  • undertake Civil and Family Legal Aid workshops to seek stakeholder views and gather information to feed into the formal consultation
  • launch eight week Civil and Family Legal Aid Consultation
  • examine and analyse consultation submissions
  • publish consultation submissions (subject to permissions)
  • publish a report to outline key findings from both consultations and explain the steps that will be taken as a result

HM Attorney General has provided assurances that the Isle of Man Law Society, as a key stakeholder, will be kept informed in respect of the steps outlined above. In response, the Society has confirmed that it will fully engage with the process but will be ever mindful of the interests of the public in relation to the provision of legal services and ensuring that access to justice is maintained.

Attorney General's Chambers, April 2019

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