Changes to improve legal aid service delivery

Young lawyers looking at papers.

Good newsLegal Aid BC is using new funding from the Ministry of the Attorney General to improve legal aid service delivery.  

As announced in the latest Notice to Counsel, LABC has made changes to expert witness fees in criminal cases and to how it assigns junior counsel in serious criminal cases.  

Expert Witnesses 

Five pre-authorized hours are now available for expert witnesses in criminal cases to reduce the possibility of wrongful convictions because Crown expert evidence is not challenged. This change was also introduced to ensure an early assessment of issues in a case and to provide better information to guide authorizations when further assessments are needed.  

To read full details of this tariff change, please see the updated Disbursements chapter of the LABC Tariffs. 

Junior Counsel 

Up to 75 hours will be provided for junior counsel preparation and court attendance for all murder and manslaughter cases (and in other identified cases) to ensure the next generation of criminal defense lawyers is properly trained.  

Learn more about these changes in the August 2022 Notice to Counsel.