17 Feb 2012

Head Youth Court judge against legal aid bill

5:31 am on 17 February 2012

Principal Youth Court judge Andrew Becroft says proposed changes to the legal aid system could make the Youth Court system inefficient.

A bill is before Parliament that seeks to tighten eligibility for legal aid and pay lawyers fixed fees for services.

Judge Becroft says the bill proposes to bring the youth system in line with the adult system, which would effectively dumb down the youth system.

He says about 150 specially trained lawyers work for the court, but the legislation being considered could dilute that skilled group.