Lawyers will assist with input on legal aid proposals

26 August 2010

Lawyers will assist with input on legal aid proposals

The New Zealand Law Society believes there will be widespread interest among lawyers in providing feedback and submissions on the Ministry of Justice’s consultation paper “Legal Aid Quality Framework: Proposed Entry Criteria and Practice Standards”.

The ministry released the paper on 25 August and has called for public feedback before 20 October.

Legal Services committee convenor James Wilding says the Society provided extensive information to the Legal Services Agency in the course of its participation in Dame Margaret Bazley’s review of legal aid and during the initial consultation on legal aid assignment.

“We are pleased that the Ministry of Justice has acknowledged our contribution to the legal aid system and in helping develop the quality framework and particularly the draft practice standards,” he says.

Mr Wilding says the Law Society will be providing the ministry with more commentary on the proposals for entry criteria and practice standards.

“We will also be encouraging individual submissions from New Zealand’s lawyers who deliver legal aid,” he says.

“Our goal is to help ensure that New Zealand has an effective and properly funded legal aid system that meets the needs of those involved in proceedings, including children, parents and accused, who in many cases, without legal aid, would not be able to exercise their important constitutional rights properly.”

“We anticipate that many lawyers will welcome the opportunity to provide further information, whether by way of the Society or direct to the ministry,” Mr Wilding says.