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Junior counsel gain appeal court legal aid pre-approval change

10 March 2020

From 5 March 2020, the appointment of one junior counsel to attend the hearing of an appeal in the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court has been pre-approved for legal aid where research or preparation has been delegated to them prior to the hearing.

The Ministry of Justice's legal aid section says it has made a minor change to legal aid policy as a result of feedback received during the 2018 review of legal aid and from the judiciary.

"In Court of Appeal and Supreme Court cases, where fixed fees have been replaced with a grant of hours, or it is a high cost case, the appointment of one junior counsel to attend the hearing of the appeal will now be pre-approved where research or preparation has been delegated to them prior to the hearing," it says.

"The pre-approval is conditional on the lead provider believing that the assistance of junior counsel at the hearing is justified and that the junior counsel’s research/preparation hours have or will be invoiced against the hours previously approved for the grant."

Last updated on the 11th March 2020