Legal aid spending up, demand stable – General

Legal aid spending up, demand stable – General – Brief Article

OTTAWA — Legal aid spending continued to grow, but the demand for legal aid services remained stable in the fiscal year 2001/02. Total legal aid expenditures by Canada’s legal aid plans reached just over $593 million dollars in 2001/02, the equivalent of $19 per capita 16% increase from the previous year.

The last time expenditures exceeded this level was in 1995/96, when they were $622 million. Legal aid plans received 839,000 applications for assistance m 2001/02, a figure virtually unchanged from the previous year. The number of approved applications decreased 1% to 511,000.

Cases involving civil matters accounted for 55% of direct legal expenditures; the remaining 45% were criminal cases. Governments provided 90% of the total revenues of $597 million. The remainder came from client contributions and cost recoveries (4%), legal profession contributions (1%), and other sources (6%).

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