The Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr. Alan Shatter T.D., following the approval of the Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael Noonan T.D., has signed new Regulations into law imposing a reduction of 10% in the fees payable under the criminal legal aid scheme. The Regulations came into force on 13 July 2011.  The rates payable under the scheme have been decreased in each of the last three years and to date have included reductions of 10.5% in 2009 and 8% in 2010. 

The Regulations apply to various fees payable to solicitors and counsel under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme for appearances in the District Court and for appeals to the Circuit Court and in the fees payable in respect of essential visits to prisons and other custodial centres and for certain bail applications. The decrease also applies to fees payable under the Ad-hoc Garda Station and CAB Schemes and to payments to professionals engaged by the defence as expert witnesses and to those providing translation/interpretation services.

A 10% decrease also applies to the fees payable in respect of appearances in proceedings under Section 6 of the Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1940 where a legal aid certificate has been granted by the court.

Fees payable to lawyers in the circuit and higher courts will also be decreased by 10% and the Regulation necessary to effect the reduction will come in to force in the next number of weeks. 

The new Regulations entitled the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 and the Enforcement of Court Orders (Legal Aid) Regulations 2011 are available on the Department's website - www.justice.ie 

14 July 2011.