Preserving and enhancing the quality of criminal advocacy: impact assessment

Document type
Impact Assessment
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Ministry of Justice
Publisher
Ministry of Justice
Date of publication
30 September 2015
Subject(s)
Criminal Justice Services, Offenders
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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In his Review of Criminal Advocacy, Sir Bill Jeffrey found a level of disquiet amongst judges and practitioners about the standards of criminal defence advocacy, and found that the market was not operating competitively so as to optimise quality. As the procurer of publicly funded criminal defence advocacy, the government has a legitimate interest in its quality. The government has therefore developed various proposals to address these concerns. The objectives and intended effects of the proposals are:

  • To preserve and enhance the quality of publicly funded criminal defence advocacy, both to ensure that individuals are being represented by high quality advocates and to ensure value for money for the tax payer.
  • To reduce the risk of financial incentives determining the choice of advocate by taking measures to stop the payment of referral fees in return for instruction.
  • To better protect defendants’ ability to make an informed choice of advocate and safeguard against conflicts of interest.

This document assesses the impact of the proposals.