I hope members are enjoying the loosening restrictions and resuming a more varied social life away from the computer screen. One way to enjoy that freedom is to join us on Friday 9th July as the LCCSA summer party returns, details to follow soon.
Payments for PCE, is it worth it?
The MOJ announced that claims for providing PCE will begin on 7th June, though we await updates to the crime contract and manual for further details. Unless there is a significant change of course it is likely that this project will fail before it has started. All agencies agree the idea is promising; by providing funding for early advice weak case can be kept out of the system, saving the wrongly accused great anguish and avoiding wasting money on unnecessary prosecutions.
For this to work suspects need to be able to approach their advisers in confidence before bringing evidence to an investigator’s attention. The insistence that an agreement be formed with an investigator before any work is done creates an insurmountable barrier to providing advice in many suitable cases. To compound the problem we have no certainty that, even after an agreement is reached, we would be paid for work that led to advice not to engage. Add to these problems the fact that this work is set at rates lower than that paid in 1996 and providers will ask themselves: ‘is it worth it?’
LAPG Census - organisations
We are pleased to hear that the census has had a strong response from those completing it as individuals. We need more responses on behalf of organisations however. A person can respond both as an individual and an organisation if they are in a management position. Thank you to all those who have responded so far and I hope, with one final push, we will have a strong evidence base for the Independent Review https://www.lccsa.org.uk/legal-aid-census-a-chance-for-all-publicly-funded-lawyers-to-stand-up-and-be-counted/
London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association