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Legal aid granted on basis of domestic or child abuse evidence rose by 16 per cent in last quarter

Family legal aid expenditure fell slightly to £137 million

In the last quarter of 2018 legal aid granted in family cases amounted to £137 million, representing a decrease of 1 per cent from the same period in 2017. There were 22,000 legally-aided public law cases (up by 3 per cent), accounting for £117 million (up 1%); 8,000 legally-aided private law cases (down 11 per cent), accounting for £20 million (down 15 per cent) and 4,000 mediations and MIAMs (up 4 per cent), accounting for £1 million (up 3 per cent). The figures were included in the Ministry of Justice's Legal Aid Statistics for October to December 2018.

In that period family legal help starts decreased by 7 per cent compared to the same quarter the previous year. Completed claims also decreased by 16 per cent and expenditure decreased by 13 per cent. There was a steep decline immediately following the implementation of LASPO Act in April 2013, with a more gradual decline over the last 2 to 3 years.

Certificates granted for family work remained unchanged in October to December 2018 compared to the previous year. Certificates completed increased by 4% compared to the same quarter the previous year. The associated expenditure has decreased by 1% compared to the same quarter the previous year.

In October to December 2018, applications for civil representation supported by evidence of domestic violence or child abuse increased by 18 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year. The number of these granted increased by 16 per cent over the same period. The proportion of applications granted remained steady at around 70 per cent from the inception of this type of application until the end of 2015, before increasing to around 80 per cent. The provisional figure for the latest quarter is 77 per cent.

For the full statistics, click here.