Online CPD Module l Booklet l PowerPoint Presentation
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Online CPD Module
Presentation time: 60 minutes
This is the fourth in a series held for legal aid lawyers - this one for criminal practitioners and administrators who will need to prepare for changes to the Criminal Procedure Act commencing on 1 July. The presentation will not discuss the details of the Act; it will focus on practical issues practitioners need to know about the administrative changes relating to legal aid – particularly how they need to work with it regarding fees and invoicing procedures.
Presenters will cover:
- new criminal fixed fee schedules
- changes to criminal fixed fee amendment policy
- changes to the invoicing process
- changes to the criminal high cost case policy, and
- a checklist relating to the new Case Management Memorandum.
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Published: 27 June, 2013
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The focus of this booklet is the changes the Criminal Procedure Act brings to the administration of Legal Aid, most notably what you are paid and how you are paid. The aim is to support you in your invoicing and other interactions with us so you are able to concentrate on the efficient progression of the case.
This booklet does not discuss the broader changes implemented by the Criminal Procedure Act, except in so far as they effect legal aid, eg new or changed activities and how they are paid. There is a discussion of the Criminal Procedure Act terminology, which should be familiar, and the terminology changes that are particularly important for Legal Aid.
For Legal Aid, the distinctions between Police Prosecutions and Crown Prosecutions are important, and Legal Aid will talk about levels rather than Categories of criminal Provider approval. The Act’s impact on Provider approvals is otherwise quite limited, and you will continue to be qualified to undertake the same type of work you do now.
The main area of change relates to the fee schedules, which have been adjusted to include additional fees for new activities required by the Act and there are other changes to better align the fee schedules with the new stages of Criminal Procedure. The changes should streamline administration by removing the need to claim interim fees or demonstrate substantial progression of the case in most circumstances. We include an example of an invoice for claiming the new fees in a schedule D cases, and at the Webinar presentation will discuss invoicing in more detail.
Changes have been made to the amendment criteria also, reflecting the concerns of providers and comments made in the 31 August 2012 High Court Judgement on Criminal Fixed Fees. These changes include a new Special Circumstances criterion for amending the base fixed fee, and the ability to seek additional funding when the fixed fee is already claimed – additional funding can be claimed when there is significant extra work required for reasons beyond the Providers control. The webinar presentation will include examples of scenarios where significant extra work would likely be required, such that an amendment to grant would likely be approved.
Finally, there are some positive changes to High Cost Case Management, and an example of the new Grant Schedule, which contains useful information for when you are assigned a case.
CAVEAT: The Criminal Bar Association appealed the High Court decision on criminal fixed fees to the Court of Appeal, and it’s Judgement was released on 24 May 2013. Whilst upholding the Fixed Fees Policy in a number of important respects, it held that it was unlawful on the basis of unduly fettering the Commissioner's discretion when exercising independent functions under the Act. The booklet sets out the fees that will be implemented on 1 July, and any further changes will be communicated to you.
These are the slides included in the presentation.
Number of Slides: 36