4 August 2023 - Central England Law Centre has joined 65 other legal aid providers, led by Duncan Lewis Solicitors, in demanding urgent changes to the civil legal aid system to avert a ‘catastrophic’ breakdown in legal aid.

The Law Centre has signed a joint letter, alongside other legal aid providers which account for 60% of all immigration and asylum controlled work, to the Ministry Of Justice, calling on government to improve hourly rates in order to avert ‘catastrophic’ breakdown in legal aid.

In the letter the providers share profound concerns about the sustainability of the legal aid controlled work system and the inadequacy of the proposals in the Ministry of Justice’s (MOJ) open consultation on legal aid fees under the Illegal Migration Act (IMA) which received royal assent on 20 July 2023. The MOJ’s proposal to raise hourly rates for work under the IMA by up to 15% is unworkable and is an inadequate response to the massive and ever-growing legal aid representation gap across immigration and asylum work both in the detention estate and for those in the community.

Earlier this year, chief executive officer Elayne Hill and members of the law centre, met with politicians to discuss the importance of access to justice and a well-functioning legal aid system, which is fundamental to ensuring good quality advice and representation is available to all who need it

Read Elayne's blog here in which she describes how the legal aid system is on a 'cliff edge' and outlines critical improvements that are urgently needed to make the system sustainable and effective.

Read the letter to the MoJ in full