Overview

Community Legal Service


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The service that replaced the legal aid scheme on 1 April 2000. The new service has many features similar to the legal aid scheme but has been redesigned to ensure that public funds are directed to those most in need. It does this by excluding more categories of potential applicant and also in prescribing new and stricter criteria for eligibility. The service is administered by the Legal Services Commission (which replaced the Legal Aid Board of the old scheme). There are various levels of service. They are:(1) legal help, which broadly replaces the green form scheme;(2) help at court, which is similar to the previous ABWOR;(3) investigative help, which provides the funding of investigation before assessment as to whether or not to proceed;(4) full representation, which is equivalent to the former full legal aid;(5) support funding, which provides partial funds to support high-cost claims but not the majority of the costs, which are met elsewhere; and(6) specific directions, by which the Lord Chancellor may authorize specific support for particular claims, e.g. test cases or class actions.Strict financial criteria are laid down for eligibility for each of these six levels of service, which reflect the requirements of the different levels of service. However, at the centre of such criteria is the cost-benefit criterion, under which funding will be refused if the benefit to be gained is considered not to justify the level of costs likely to be incurred.

(1) legal help, which broadly replaces the green form scheme;

(2) help at court, which is similar to the previous ABWOR;

(3) investigative help, which provides the funding of investigation before assessment as to whether or not to proceed;

(4) full representation, which is equivalent to the former full legal aid;

(5) support funding, which provides partial funds to support high-cost claims but not the majority of the costs, which are met elsewhere; and

(6) specific directions, by which the Lord Chancellor may authorize specific support for particular claims, e.g. test cases or class actions.

http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/ Website of the Legal Services Commission: includes a legal-aid eligibility calculator

Subjects: Law.


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