Taxpayer-funded legal aid hiked for small boat migrant cases to speed through removals | The Sun

Taxpayer-funded legal aid hiked for small boat migrant cases to speed through removals | The Sun

June 27, 2023

LEGAL aid fees for small boat migrant cases will be hiked by 15 per cent to speed through more cases.

Taxpayers will have to cough up more for leftie lawyers to defend asylum-seekers after the small boats bill comes into force.

Ministers hope the extra cash bung will help get more lawyers to take up cases and plough through appeals.

Anyone who comes here and gets their removal notice will be able to challenge it within eight days – and are entitled to free government-funded help to do so.

Ministers will also remove the means test for removal matters – meaning anyone will be entitled to it.

And they will ditch the cap on the number of hours they can work to plough through cases.

Hourly rates could go up from up to £51.62 to £59.39 an hour for lawyers working in London.

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk admitted ministers are expecting "high volumes of cases" as a result of the new laws – which will give ministers legal powers to remove them from the UK as soon as possible.

The Home Office expects legal aid to cost at least £1,000 per person – not including court time or appeals.

They also admitted they will have to hire more lawyers, judges, staff at the Legal Aid Agency, and physical space for any court hearings.

Mr Chalk – himself a former legal aid lawyer, insisted last night the Government would "support legal aid lawyers" and paid tribute to those who "do an exceptionally important role in ensuring people have access to justice".

Insiders hope that the move will be "short term" as once the policy starts to work they will get fewer crossings.

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And once the first cases are tried in court, there will be fewer cases, hours and bills for taxpayers.

The Ministry of Justice said last night:"The Illegal Migration Bill will change the law so that people who come to the UK illegally are detained and promptly removed.

“Individuals will have access to legal aid for advice and help relating to their removal and our proposals for specified Illegal Migration Bill work will enhance capacity to meet the anticipated increase in demand to help ensure we can stop the boats.”

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