Reforms on Borderline Merits and Crown Court Eligibility to go live in January 2014

Today, 25 November 2013, the legislation has been laid in Parliament for two legal aid reforms under the Legal Aid Transformation (LAT) change programme which are due to go live on 27 January 2014.  
These are: 
  • Borderline Merits - Removing legal aid for civil cases with borderline prospects of success. 
  • Crown Court Eligibility - Introducing a financial eligibility threshold, whereby any defendant with an annual disposable household income of £37,500 or more would be ineligible for legal aid in the Crown Court, subject to review on hardship grounds. 

Training 

These reforms will follow those going live on 2 December 2013, for which training is now available; please see the news article published recently for advice on completing that training.  Training for the above January reforms will be made available nearer the time and we will be in touch with you to let you know when you can access it. 
The LAT Programme will continue to implement further proposed change throughout 2014, including introduction of a Residence Test and changes to criminal advocacy fees.  Updates will be given when legislation is laid in Parliament, when training is available and when new reforms go live, to ensure that you know what is happening when, as soon as that information is available to share.
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