Will the new means tests see a two-tier legal system created? And will poorer clients suffer? Lisa Mountford and Martin Hannibal report
With the ink barely dry on Lord Carterâ€™s final recommendations on the future of legal aid procurement, of more immediate concern for criminal lawyers has been the re-introduction of means testing in criminal cases. The effect of the change is that, since 2 October 2006, as a result of reforms introduced under the Criminal Defence Service Act 2006, a client must satisfy both the means and the merits tests to qualify for a representation order in summary proceedings.
New application procedure
All applicants applying for a representation order are now required to complete the new CDS Form 14. The form is submitted to the magistratesâ€™ court at which the defendant is to make his first appearance wi...