§ 81. Mr. C. Osborne
asked the Attorney-General if he is aware of a recent lawsuit where costs of £45,000 will have to come from public funds, since the claimant was legally aided; if he is satisfied that the system of legal aid is not being abused, and public funds unnecessarily wasted, through insufficient care in the examination of claims for legal aid; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Attorney-General
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the case of Autenv. Rayner, but I must point out that, as the costs incurred by the plaintiff in that case have not yet been taxed, it is not at present possible to say how much will be paid out of the Legal Aid Fund in respect of them. I have no reason for thinking that the application for aid in the case was not examined with sufficient care. On the contrary, the Legal Aid Committee scrutinised it very closely and did not finally grant it until the opinion of leading counsel had been obtained. Moreover, in his judgment the Judge who tried the case said that no criticism could be made of the Committee for granting a certificate. In these circumstances, I am satisfied that there was no abuse of the Legal Aid Scheme.