New Zealand Law Society - Views sought on proposed changes to legal aid provider contract

Views sought on proposed changes to legal aid provider contract

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The Ministry of Justice is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Contract for the Provision of Legal Aid Services and Specified Legal Services and the Practice Standards for Legal Aid Providers.

The current contracts are due to expire at the end of November, Legal Aid Services General Manager Jacquelyn Shannon says.

"We are proposing a number of minor and technical changes to the provider contract and the standards.

"We particularly want to improve and streamline the contract to help providers better understand their rights and obligations," Ms Shannon says.

"The proposed changes help clarify the different functions of the Legal Services Commissioner and the Secretary for Justice.

"They also include cross-references to provisions of the Legal Services Act 2011 and other relevant documents, and some new minor obligations for providers that reflect good professional practice."

The Ministry is seeking feedback from the legal profession by 25 July 2016.

"We plan to publish a consultation summary report by September 2016 and expect to be able to provide a new contract to all active legal aid providers in mid-October," says Jacquelyn.

"That way the new contracts can be in place by 1 December 2016."

The consultation document is available on the Ministry of Justice website.