Legal aid: a first agreement between the Barreau and the government of Quebec

Legal aid: a first agreement between the Bar and the Quebec government

The rates for lawyers in private practice who accept legal aid mandates will be increased.

The Barreau du Québec has announced that a first agreement was reached with the Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette, to increase the fees of lawyers in private practice who accept legal aid mandates.

We have been in communication with the Department of Justice for a long time to increase the legal aid tariffs payable to our members because certain tariffs were obsolete, indicated Thursday the president of Quebec, Me Catherine Claveau, to The Canadian Press, adding that some members were discouraged from accepting legal aid assignments because they were losing money.

Without going into the details of the agreement, the Bâtonnière explained that lawyers in private practice who accept legal aid mandates receive a fixed rate to take care entirely of a case, no matter how many hours they invest in a file, but that this first agreement with the Ministry of Justice will allow an increase, a catch-up.

This is another measure to increase access to justice for the most vulnerable people in society, so the more lawyers will be paid enough, the more they will accept this kind of mandate. -there to help the most disadvantaged in society, it's important to remember that, argued Me Claveau.

Legal aid lawyers walked off the job for half a day on May 24.

She said that among the elements of the agreement are changes to address the inadequacy of the current fees for lawyers in criminal law, family law, youth law and immigration law. .

She described this first agreement as a preliminary and essential step towards a complete structural reform of legal aid in Quebec.

The expiry of this agreement is scheduled for September 30, after which a committee will be responsible for the next negotiation, specified the Bâtonnière du Québec.

In 2020, the Barreau du Québec and the Minister of Justice had agreed on the creation of a working group to revise the legal aid tariff structure for the mandates entrusted to lawyers in private practice.

The conclusions of the Final Report of the Independent Task Force on the Reform of the Legal Aid Fee Structure were released last June and contained 14 recommendations deemed to be priorities.

In a press release published Thursday afternoon, Minister Jolin-Barette was pleased to act quickly on the recommendations deemed priorities by the working group.

The Minister added that legal aid is a fundamental part of access to justice in Quebec. We are continuing to analyze the other recommendations.

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