The method for calculating the maximum legal aid fee paid to Counsel takes into account:

  • the stage of the proceedings and its expected duration;

  • the complexity level of the case;

  • the scope of services required; and

  • the maximum amount of legal aid established by the Legal Aid Regulations.

Counsel will also be reimbursed for certain documented costs that arise during proceedings, such as costs for investigators, up to a specified amount.

For Counsel assigned to victims, the criteria taken into account when calculating the amount of the legal aid fee paid to Counsel also include:

  •  the modalities of victims’ participation;

  •  the number and characteristics of represented victims;

  • the expected amount of time required to communicate with victims;

  • any specific expertise required by Counsel;

  • whether any victims will be called as witnesses; and

  • the expected costs for experts and/or investigators.

A) Stages of proceedings

The legal aid fee is calculated for each stage of the proceedings, which include the Pre-Indictment stage, the Pre-Trial stage, the Trial Stage, and the appeals stages, such as the Second Instance Appellate Stage and the Third Instance Appellate Stage.

B) Complexity levels

The legal aid fee is also calculated based on the complexity level of a case. There are three possible complexity levels: (1) standard, (2) difficult and (3) very difficult.  The complexity level of a case will be determined based on Counsel’s plan of activities submitted to the Registrar and any work plan put in place under the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The following factors will also be considered: 

  • number and nature of charges in the indictment;

  • the suspect or the accused’s alleged position within a political or military hierarchy;

  • geographical and temporal scope of the case;

  • number and type of witnesses and documents involved;

  • number of victims or groups of victims expected to participate in the proceedings; and

  • complexity of the legal and factual arguments involved, and any novel issues raised.

C) Scope of services

The legal aid fee is also based on the scope of services (full-time or part-time services), which depends on the stage of the proceedings and whether there is a reduced workload, such as during judicial deliberations or temporary stays of proceedings.

In some limited circumstances, such as when Duty Counsel is assigned for a short period in urgent matters, the legal aid fee may be based on an hourly rate.