No decisions have been made on the future of criminal or civil legal aid on the Isle of Man.
That’s the message from the Treasury Minister who told Tynwald yesterday that the criminal legal aid review project was ongoing.
The project is being extended to include civil legal aid and is being led by the Attorney General John Quinn.
Over the past five years the average cost of legal aid and its administration has been £3.8 million per year.
Unlike most legal aid systems around the world, the Isle of Man has an open ended, uncapped, demand-led provision, helping support access to justice for its citizens.
In his statement to Tynwald Alfred Cannan said: “A fundamental cornerstone of our society is the overarching principle of "Access to Justice" which both criminal and civil legal aid sit under.
“The first phase of this project is now firmly underway and we expect a public consultation on criminal legal aid to start this spring.
“It would seem pragmatic to undertake a concurrent review of both criminal and civil legal aid in the Isle of Man as a number of functions and processes are inextricably linked.
“No decisions will be made on the future delivery of criminal or civil legal aid until a comprehensive and inclusive consultation process has taken place and stakeholder responses have been fully considered.
“I would also like to reaffirm that legal aid policy decisions remain the responsibility for the Legal Aid Committee.”