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Under-30s biggest group for criminal legal aid grants

16 October 2019

People aged up to 29 made up 43% of those granted criminal legal aid in the year to 30 June 2019.

Ministry of Justice information shows that another 31% granted criminal legal aid were aged from 30 to 39.

However, information for the last decade shows that there has been a steady fall in the proportion of younger people receiving criminal legal aid. In the year to 30 June 2010, 8% of criminal legal aid grants were made to those aged 10 to 18 and 47% to those 19 to 29. Over the same period the number of those aged 30 to 39 granted criminal legal aid has risen from 23% to 31%.

The reasons for the shift in age groups could include changes in the Youth Justice system and Police prosecution policies for offences such as cannabis possession.

Information on the four different legal aid categories show noticeable differences by age group. While the number of grants of Waitangi Tribunal legal aid was just 0.4% of total in the year to 30 June 2019, 92% of Waitangi Tribunal legal aid grants were made to people aged 50 and over. This compared to 10% of criminal legal aid grants, 18% of family legal aid grants and 31% of civil legal aid grants to that age group.

Grants of criminal legal aid by age group, year to 30 June
Age groupGrants 2010% 2010Grants 2019% 2019
10 to 184,7258%1,8793%
19 to 2928,93547%23,02440%
30 to 3914,34923%18,08831%
40 to 499,40915%9,42616%
50 to 643,5246%5,0649%
65 & over3471%5911%
Unknown81<1%34<1%
Total61,370100%58,106100%
Grants of family legal aid by age group, year  to 30 June
Age groupGrants 2010% 2010Grants 2019% 2019
10 to 185442%2551%
19 to 298,38834%5,41431%
30 to 397,81432%5,38531%
40 to 495,04921%3,31419%
50 to 642,2999%2,36114%
65 & over4972%7074%
Unknown55<1%49<1%
Total24,596100%17,485100%
Grants of civil legal aid by age group, year to 30 June
Age groupGrants 2010% 2010Grants 2019% 2019
10 to 18171%111%
19 to 2935518%19717%
30 to 3942822%33929%
40 to 4954828%26322%
50 to 6447124%27924%
65 & over1045%827%
Unknown181%00
Total1,941100%1,171100%
Grants of Waitangi Tribunal legal aid by age group, year to 30 June
Age groupGrants 2010% 2010Grants 2019% 2019
10 to 1811%00%
19 to 2932%1<1%
30 to 3943%83%
40 to 493623%145%
50 to 646844%14449%
65 & over4126%12743%
Unknown21%21
Total155100%296100%

Last updated on the 16th October 2019