Criminal Legal Aid granted to convicted defendants unlawfully at large

Matt Jackson made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Legal Aid Agency

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Legal Aid Agency.

Dear Legal Aid Agency,

I write to request, pursuant to section 1 (1) Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following information.

For each of the financial years from 2013-14 (to date - including the current part year), the number of defendants who:

(1) Applied for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) against
(a) conviction; and,
(b) sentence;
While having the benefit of a representation order.

(2) Were granted a representation order in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in an appeal against:
(a) conviction; and,
(b) sentence.

And in both (1) and (2) who were known, or believed, to be unlawfully at large at the time of (1) or (2) above. By unlawfully at large, I mean anyone who had absconded on bail, failed to attend their trial and/or sentencing hearing or similar, and whose whereabouts remained unknown (to the knowledge of the LAA) at the time of (1) or (2) above.

Yours faithfully,
Matthew Jackson

Information Governance (LAA), Legal Aid Agency

Dear Matthew Jackson,

Thank you for your request for information which we received 05/01/2019.

Your request has been passed to me as I have responsibility for
information held by the Legal Aid Agency.

I will respond no later than the statutory deadline of 01/02/2019.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at
[email address] if you have any questions.

Please ensure you quote our reference FOI/190105003 in any future
correspondence.

Yours Faithfully
Information Governance Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Information Governance (LAA), Legal Aid Agency

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Jackson

 

Please find attached a response to your recent FOIA request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance | Corporate Centre | 102 Petty France, London, SW1H
9AJ

 

[1][IMG]

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Information Governance (LAA),

Thank you for the reply. Please accept my apologies for writing again, but I would like to invite you to clarify the answer to one of the points in response. I have understood what you say there to mean that while you do have the information regarding defendants who were unlawfully at large (however many that may be), because there has never been a manual cross check, you do not know how many there were. Is that a correct understanding?

I do not of course suggest anything improper about not having carried out the manual check where the exemption in section 12 FOIA applies, but I would be grateful if you could confirm that this check has never taken place for any record year. Of course if it has, rechecking would not be necessary.

I am sure there has been no such check, but I did not wish to assume. Either way, I am grateful for your timely reply.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Jackson

Information Governance (LAA), Legal Aid Agency

 
Thank you for your email, it has been received by the Legal Aid Agency's
Information Governance team and we will process it in due course.
 
Please note that if your email contains a  new FOI or DPA request we will
forward it to the Ministry of Justice's Data Access and Compliance Unit
for processing.
 
In future please send new requests directly to them, their  email address
is [email address]
 
  ________________________________  
This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a
secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by
someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send
material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you
are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained
by the Ministry of Justice. Monitoring / blocking software may be used,
and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to
ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their
contents.

Information Governance (LAA), Legal Aid Agency

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Jackson

 

Thank you for your email of 1 February 2019. I have addressed your further
queries as follows:

 

Our response explained that this information is not actively captured. It
is possible that such information would be contained on individual files,
such as in the relevant court/legal aid papers, or in case notes made by
MoJ staff. However, we would not be able to comment further on this
without undertaking the searches themselves, which as we explained would
be prohibitively costly.

 

The FOIA does not oblige a public authority to create information to
answer a request, but to provide information held (save where an exemption
applies). As referenced above, the information you requested is only
available through being obtained from manual searches of the relevant
documentation/databases maintained by both the Legal Aid Agency and Her
Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service. The steps entailed in preparing
the relevant data would take longer than the relevant limits provided for
by the Act.   

 

I hope this is of assistance.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance | Corporate Centre | 102 Petty France, London, SW1H
9AJ

 

[1][IMG]

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Information Governance (LAA),

Thank you for your email. I apologise if I was unclear in my last email. I am not asking you to create new information, nor to carry out a manual examination of the information that is held. I also accept that this information is not *actively* captured.

I am however asking you to confirm that the *manual* capture of this information, or any part of it, has not already been done prior to my FOIA request. To that extent I am asking you, under the duty to confirm or deny, whether the collation has already taken place.

I do not dispute, for the time being, that to manually examine each file would go over the proscribed limit. I am simply asking you to confirm that (for any period) this has not already been done. Obviously if it had been, there would be no significant additional cost involved in disclosing it.

I am sure this hasn't been done as you would doubtless have said so otherwise. I am simply asking you to confirm or deny this.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Jackson

Information Governance (LAA), Legal Aid Agency

 
Thank you for your email, it has been received by the Legal Aid Agency's
Information Governance team and we will process it in due course.
 
Please note that if your email contains a  new FOI or DPA request we will
forward it to the Ministry of Justice's Data Access and Compliance Unit
for processing.
 
In future please send new requests directly to them, their  email address
is [email address]
 
  ________________________________  
This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a
secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by
someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send
material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you
are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained
by the Ministry of Justice. Monitoring / blocking software may be used,
and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to
ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their
contents.

Information Governance (LAA), Legal Aid Agency

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Jackson

 

Apologies if the previous responses to you were not sufficiently clear. I
can confirm that the only information we hold concerning your request
would need to be assembled manually from discrete databases/sources. The
information does exist in any other form.

 

I hope this now clarifies the position?

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance | Corporate Centre | 102 Petty France, London, SW1H
9AJ

 

[1][IMG]

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Information Governance (LAA),

Thank you very much, that does clarify the position.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Jackson

Information Governance (LAA), Legal Aid Agency

 
Thank you for your email, it has been received by the Legal Aid Agency's
Information Governance team and we will process it in due course.
 
Please note that if your email contains a  new FOI or DPA request we will
forward it to the Ministry of Justice's Data Access and Compliance Unit
for processing.
 
In future please send new requests directly to them, their  email address
is [email address]
 
  ________________________________  
This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Internet e-mail is not a
secure medium. Any reply to this message could be intercepted and read by
someone else. Please bear that in mind when deciding whether to send
material in response to this message by e-mail. This e-mail (whether you
are the sender or the recipient) may be monitored, recorded and retained
by the Ministry of Justice. Monitoring / blocking software may be used,
and e-mail content may be read at any time. You have a responsibility to
ensure laws are not broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their
contents.