High Court Practice Note and Protocol on the Management of Lengthy and Complex Criminal Cases

Thursday, Jul 12, 2018

This Practice Note and Protocol was issued in May 2018 and applies to cases which are likely to last eight weeks or longer. It may also be used in suitable cases estimated to last more than four weeks which are likely to benefit from the measures. The Practice Note and Protocol can be found here.

No legal aid changes are needed for this at present. We have considered the terms of the Practice Note and Protocol and consider that work required to comply with the practice is covered, and will be remunerated, by the current feeing arrangements and regulations for legal aid in solemn cases in the Sheriff Court, which combines detailed and inclusive fees. Exceptional case provisions are still available.

If the Practice Note results in more work being done or being carried out at an earlier stage in the case, then that is likely to be payable on this detailed basis. However, if it transpires that changes are needed to reflect any more front loading of this work, these will be taken forward as part of the wider reforms to criminal fee structures. 

For more details of this, and the arrangements we already have for dealing with high cost and complex criminal cases, please see Part 3, Chapter 17 of the Criminal Handbook .

Please contact Kingsley Thomas, Head of Criminal Legal Assistance, thomaski@slab.org.uk, if you have any questions.

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