Consultation opens on greater access to legal aid in Jersey

Image of Jersey's Royal Court.
Credit: ITV Channel TV

A consultation has opened on plans to give islanders greater access to legal aid in Jersey.

The scheme would help ensure legal representation is available to all islanders.

The new proposals would replace what is currently offered by the Law Society of Jersey and include a number of changes for assessing who should be eligible for legal aid.

These include:

  • Assessing financial eligibility on a individuals capital and income levels, rather than their household capital and income

  • Removing the residency test for people applying for public or criminal legal aid

  • Introducing a minimum 12-month resident test for private or civil legal aid

  • Removing the requirement to pay contributions towards public or criminal legal aid

  • Introducing a accredited panel of criminal lawyers to provide legal aid in criminal cases

Applicants will have to demonstrate they meet the financial and residency criteria depending on what type of legal aid they are seeking. It will only be granted on cases which have legal merit.

After a consultations, the scheme will be considered by the States Assembly and it's proposed it will come into effect on 1 January 2022.

Islanders have until Wednesday 29 September to share their views before the scheme is finalised.

More information can be found here.