This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy

Lexis+ AI

Mixed allocations in UK Spring Budget: Family law gets boost, Criminal Legal Aid Funding absent

Mixed allocations in UK Spring Budget: Family law gets boost, Criminal Legal Aid Funding absent


UK Spring Budget allocates £170m for family courts, digital solutions, but disappoints with no criminal legal aid funding

In the recently unveiled UK Spring Budget, the government has outlined its financial commitments to the justice system, sparking a mixed response from legal professionals. While there is an investment of £170 million to enhance the modernisation of the justice system, concerns have been raised about the overall adequacy of the funding.

The breakdown of the investment includes:

  • £55 million for family courts to provide earlier advice, with £12 million specifically allocated for the early legal advice pilot in the family court, aiming to offer targeted guidance and reduce waiting times.
  • £15 million designated for the introduction of digital solutions.
  • £10 million allocated to invest in the Crown Prosecution Service for digitising jury bundles in criminal courts.

Nick Emmerson, the president of the Law Society of England and Wales, acknowledged the positive aspect of the government responding to concerns by investing in the early legal advice pilot for family courts. He emphasised the potential benefits of early legal advice in facilitating faster dispute resolution for families, potentially lowering costs and reducing distress.

However, Nick Emmerson expressed disappointment regarding the absence of funding for criminal legal aid, despite recent High Court warnings about potential consequences for the criminal justice system without significant financial injections. While criminal courts receive funding to address trial delays, the lack of support for legal aid has raised concerns about access to justice.

On court reform and the introduction of digital solutions, Nick Emmerson acknowledged the pledge but noted feedback from members indicating that the digitisation of the court system might be contributing to delays in the civil court system, potentially hindering access to justice.

Nick Emmerson called for a more substantial investment in the justice system, emphasising the importance of public confidence and acknowledging the public's vocal concerns about justice. The Spring Budget, while making strides in family court support and digital solutions, has sparked calls for further reflection and increased financial backing for a justice system in need.

Lexis+ AI