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Legal Aid: Expenditure

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on average per head on legal aid in the last year for which figures are available; and what comparative assessment he has made of equivalent figures for other EU countries. (184493)

In 2006-07 average legal aid expenditure per head of population in England and Wales was £37. Ministry of Justice has not made a comparative assessment with other EU countries. However, all known studies suggest that England and Wales spend more per capita than any other jurisdiction.

The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice published a report on European Judicial Systems in 2006, which included 2004 per head expenditure data. The following table shows a selection of countries.

Country

£ per head

England and Wales

38

Northern Ireland

32

Scotland

30

Netherlands

16

Republic of Ireland

8

Germany

4

France

3

The full report is available online at:

http://www.coe.int/t/dg1/legalcooperation/cepej/evaluation/2006/Report2006resume_en.pdf