Lord Chancellor to crack down on use of QCs

Lord Irvine says he plans to introduce much tighter new criteria into the Criminal Legal Aid Regulations which must be met before an application to increase or alter the number or seniority of advocates is made to the Crown Court.

In future, he says, it must be shown that the case warrants the assignment of a QC or more than one advocate.

Government departments will have to fall into line with the new regulations when bringing criminal prosecutions, says Lord Irvine, as will each Prosecuting Department when the regulation changes are introduced in the Spring.