Open consultation

Crime Lower Consultation

Applies to England and Wales


This consultation sets out proposals for reform of the criminal legal aid fee schemes which fall under Crime Lower.

This consultation is being held on another website.

This consultation closes at

Consultation description

This consultation follows on from the government response to the Criminal Legal Aid Independent Review (CLAIR) consultation in November 2022.

Our response to CLAIR proposed having both investment and structural reforms to the fee schemes. The first phase of our reforms focused on additional investment which led to a 15% increase to most fees from 30 September 2022. The second phase of our plans focuses on longer term systemic reform. We are now taking forward our phase two plans starting with reforming elements of the Crime Lower fee schemes.

Crime Lower mostly covers work carried out by legal aid providers at police stations and in magistrates’ courts in relation to people accused of or charged with criminal offences. The main proposals in this consultation covers the police station fee scheme and Youth Court fees.

As part of our government response to CLAIR, £21.1 million per annum was allocated to longer-term reforms from the financial year of 2024 to 2025. This has been allocated towards the police station fee scheme (£16m) and Youth Court fees (£5.1m). The consultation addresses how we propose the allocated £21.1m will be distributed within the police station and Youth Court fees following on from CLAIR recommendations.

This consultation is aimed at anyone with an interest in criminal legal aid in England and Wales. This will include, but is not limited to, members of the criminal defence profession and their representative bodies, police station staff, defendants, academics and others involved in the criminal justice system.

A Welsh version of the consultation document will be published shortly.


Crime lower consultation: Criminal Legal Aid

Crime lower consultation: Criminal Legal Aid

Impact assessment

Equality Statement

Ymgynghoriad Cymorth Cyfreithiol Troseddol: Troseddau Is

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Published 29 January 2024
Last updated 12 February 2024 + show all updates
  1. Welsh version of consultation document published.

  2. First published.