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MoJ publishes legal aid statistics for October to December 2016

MIAMs and mediations both down on a year ago

The Ministry of Justice has published legal aid statistics for October to December 2016.

Legal aid expenditure for the whole of 2016 in relation to family law matters amounted to £527 million. Of this £414 million was for public law cases and £112 million for private law cases. An additional £6 million was spent on MIAMs and mediation.

In the latest quarter legal help new matter starts were 14% lower than in the same period of 2015. Of these 7,634 related to family law.

In civil representation, the number of certificates granted increased by 5% in the latest quarter compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The number of certificates completed and the associated expenditure also increased over this period, by 3% and 5% respectively, driven by public family law proceedings. Of the those certificates granted, 22,520 related to family law.

In October to December 2016, applications for civil representation where there has been established a risk of domestic violence (1,967) were up 21% compared to the same period of the previous year but down from the peak in April to June 2016. The number granted (1,668) on decision-based timing was up 36% compared to the same period of 2015.

The proportion of applications granted remained steady at around 70% from the inception of this type of application until the end of 2015, but has increased to over 75% in the four quarters since then.

The number of mediation assessments in the latest quarter was 7% down compared to the same period in 2015 and starts were down by 14% over the same period. The children category consistently accounts for the majority of starts, comprising 64% of all mediation starts in the last year. Over the last year 62% of all mediation outcomes involved successful agreements. The rate of success varied between different categories of mediation, with the highest proportion of agreements (63%) in the children category.

There were 441 applications for Exceptional Case Funding (ECF), across all areas, received in the latest quarter. 413 of these had been determined as at 28 February, of which 58% were granted.

For the statistical bulletin, click here. The tables referred to within it can be accessed here.