Legal aid lawyers could get fee increase this year
Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
The Legal Aid Council says a long-awaited increase in fees for lawyers who volunteer their services could take place this calendar year.
Executive director of the council, attorney-at-law Hugh Faulkner, has declined to disclose the specific changes in the fee regime.
However, in a soon-to-be published interview with The Gleaner’s current affairs programme, On the Record, Faulkner said the rates will be significantly increased.
Faulkner says the Justice Minister, Senator Mark Golding, will announce the changes.
The Legal Aid Act came into effect in 1999 and the scale of fees which was implemented in 2000 has not increased since.
A senior lawyer is paid $60,000 for a murder case which could attract the death penalty, and $45,000 for other murder cases.
For other high court cases, senior lawyers are paid $40,000, while junior lawyers are paid $30,000.
At the resident magistrate’s level, senior lawyers are paid $20,000 and their junior counterparts $15,000.
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