The Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton, announced on 28 May that the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) will no longer be included in the calculation of entitlement to civil legal aid. This comes following Minister for Justice Helen Mc Entee’s commitment to building a “justice system that works for everyone” back in February 2021.
The Justice Plan 2021 is built on five key goals which aim to:
The initiatives to improve access to justice and to modernise the court system will include:
Speaking at the launch back in February, Minister McEntee said that the “Justice Plan 2021 and the actions I will implement this year to begin our programme of reform charts a course for us to build a justice system that works for everyone. This will be an annual process in which we will set out the concrete actions which will be delivered according to strict timelines each year.”
Speaking at the latest announcement, Minister Naughton said she is “pleased to announce that the Legal Aid Board will no longer include the Housing Assistance Payment in their calculation of entitlement to civil legal aid... [t]his will have a positive impact for families and individuals who are of modest means and are in receipt of HAP or any other housing support measure provided by a Department of State or any other public body. This will no longer be an impediment to them accessing legal advice and representation where the other criteria of the scheme are met.”
Click here to read the Justice Plan 2021.