Criminal legal aid fees to receive 10 per cent boost

Criminal legal aid fees to receive 10 per cent boost

Pictured (left–right): Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath

Criminal legal aid fees will be boosted by 10 per cent early next year, justice minister Helen McEntee announced following the unveiling of Budget 2024.

Over €3.27 billion in current expenditure and €274 million for capital projects has been allocated to the justice sector in the budget presented by finance minister Michael McGrath and public expenditure, NDP delivery and reform minister Paschal Donohoe this afternoon.

A total of €9 million has been allocated to provide for the increase in fees paid under the criminal legal aid scheme.

Mrs McEntee said: “In conjunction with the increase in fees, the intention is to build on the strengths of the criminal legal aid scheme while addressing any issues relating to how it is structured.

“Engagement will now begin with the legal professions for the purpose of working together to identify reforms to the fees, including automation of payments, which will support improved efficiency and governance in the administration of the scheme, and chart a path to greater transparency and fairness in the level of fees paid under criminal legal aid.

“These are necessary reforms which will further support the reforms being introduced in the Criminal Legal Aid Bill.”

A further €5.5 million has been allocated to the Legal Aid Board to recruit new staff, increase investment in ICT and provide for additional costs directly related to the increase in immigration applications.

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