In brief: Irvine extends LAB Investigations Unit role

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine has extended the role of the Legal Aid Board's Special Investigations Unit to cover criminal as well as civil cases, in a move welcomed both by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group and the Criminal Law Solicitors Association. A pilot scheme will be held from 6 April until October at selected magistrates' courts and Crown Court centres allowing them to use the unit to investigate the means of legal aid applicants with complex financial affairs.