Page last updated at 19:00 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 20:00 UK

"Reality check" needed on legal aid fees says minister

Ford report

Vincent Kearney reports on the Justice Minister's plans to tackle Northern Ireland's legal aid bill.

Barristers in Northern Ireland have been told they have to get real about their fees.

The Justice minister David Ford says he will press ahead with a plan to slash millions of pounds from the legal aid bill.

Legal aid is the system where the government pays for lawyers for people who cannot afford to pay themselves.

In the past, the money came from Westminster but under devolution, the Assembly will have to pick up the bill

This year it is expected to be over a hundred million pounds.

Barristers have already complained about the court service cutting the maximum fee for work in complex criminal cases to £152.50 per hour.

But in his first major interview since his appointment a month ago, David Ford says he is not for turning.

Our Home Affairs Correspondent, Vincent Kearney, has this exclusive report.

David Ford

Home Affairs Correspondent, Vincent Kearney, talks to Justice Minister, David Ford, about his plans and priorities for his time in office.



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