Legal Aid Act 1982

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1982 c. 44


Legal Aid Act 1982

1982 CHAPTER 44

An Act to make further provision with respect to the giving of legal aid, and the provision of advice and representation, in criminal cases; and for connected purposes.

[28th October 1982]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Advice and representation by duty solicitors.

1 Advice and representation by duty solicitors.

(1) A scheme under section 15 of the Legal Aid Act 1974 (in this Act referred to as ‘the principal Act’) may provide—

(a ) for the making, by committees set up under the scheme, of arrangements whereby advice and representation to which this section applies is provided by solicitors in attendance at magistrates' courts; and

(b ) for the remuneration out of the legal aid fund or by the Lord Chancellor of solicitors providing advice and representation under the arrangements.

(2) This section applies to such advice and representation in connection with criminal proceedings before magistrates' courts as may be specified by the scheme, being advice and representation for persons, or any class of persons, in respect of whom no legal aid order is for the time being in force in relation to the proceedings in question and to whom advice and assistance in respect of those proceedings is not being given under section 1 of the principal Act.

(3) For the purpose of making in a scheme any such provision as is mentioned in subsection (1) above the committee of the Council of the Law Society referred to in subsection (6) of the said section 15 shall (except during a vacancy) include two additional members nominated by the Lord Chancellor, being respectively a justice of the peace and a justices' clerk and such number of other additional members nominated by him (not being persons practising as barristers or as solicitors) as he may direct.

(4) For the purpose of making arrangements pursuant to any such provision as is mentioned in subsection (1) above any committee set up under a scheme made under the said section 15 may include, in addition to the persons qualified to be members by virtue of subsection (4) of that section, a justice of the peace and a justices' clerk and such number of other additional members (not being persons practising as barristers or as solicitors) as the Lord Chancellor may direct.

(5) A magistrates' court shall comply with such directions given to it by the Lord Chancellor as he thinks requisite for securing that effect is given at that court to any such arrangements as are mentioned in subsection (1) above.

(6) The remuneration under any such provision as is mentioned in subsection (1) above shall be determined and paid in such manner as may be provided by regulations made for the purposes of this section with the concurrence of the Treasury.

(7) Sections 2(5), 15(1), 20(1) and (2)(a ), (c ) and (d ), 22 and 23 of the principal Act (ancillary provisions relating to advice and assistance under section 1 of that Act) shall apply also in relation to advice and representation provided pursuant to this section.

S-2 Legal aid for committal proceedings and trial.

2 Legal aid for committal proceedings and trial.

(1) A magistrates' court inquiring into an offence as examining justices may make a legal aid order under section 28(2) of the principal Act which applies, or amend an order already made by the court under that provision so that it applies, both to the proceedings before the court and, in the event of the defendant being committed for trial, to his trial before the Crown Court.

(2) Legal aid ordered to be given to a person by virtue of this section shall, in the event of his being convicted by the Crown Court, include such advice and assistance as is mentioned in section 30(7) of the principal Act.

S-3 Legal aid for appeals in cases of contempt of court.

3 Legal aid for appeals in cases of contempt of court.

3. In section 28(8) of the principal Act (legal aid for appeals to Court of Appeal under Part I of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968) for the words ‘the criminal division of that court’ there shall be substituted the words ‘or to appeal to that court under section 13 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960against an order or decision of the Crown Court, the criminal division of the Court of Appeal’.

S-4 Legal aid for proceedings followings partly suspended sentence.

4 Legal aid for proceedings followings partly suspended sentence.

4. In section 30(12) of the principal Act (meaning of ‘dealt with’ in provisions describing proceedings for which legal aid may be given) after the words ‘the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973’ there shall be inserted the words ‘or section 47(3) of the Criminal Law Act 1977’.

S-5 Functions of legal aid committees.

5 Functions of legal aid committees.

(1) In this section ‘legal aid committee’ means a committee set up by a scheme under section 15 of the principal Act.

(2) Provision may be made by regulations for enabling a legal aid committee to discharge, in such circumstances and subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed—

(a ) the powers of a magistrates' court or the Crown Court under section 30(1) or (2) of the principal Act as respects representation by counsel in proceedings before a magistrates' court or by more than one counsel in proceedings before the Crown Court; and

(b ) the powers of a magistrates' court or the Crown Court under section 31 of that Act (amendment and revocation of legal aid orders).

(3) Provision may be made by regulations for treating—

(a ) as a proper subject of fees or disbursements payable under section 37(2) of the principal Act; or

(b ) as a proper subject of such fees or disbursements up to a specified amount,

anything done with the approval of a legal aid committee given in accordance with the regulations.

(4) Regulations made for the purposes of this section may—

(a ) make provision as to the manner of making applications or referring cases to a legal aid committee and the time when such applications or references may be made and disposed of;

(b ) provide for the exercise of any specified powers of a legal aid committee by a member or officer of the committee.

(5) Regulations made for the purposes of this section may make different provision for different cases and may be made separately in relation to proceedings before different courts.

(6) Section 22 of the principal Act (obligation of secrecy on legal aid committees etc.) shall have effect as if references in that section to Part I of that Act, to such a committee as is there mentioned and to legal aid under that Part included references to this section, to a legal aid committee and to legal aid given by a legal aid order.

S-6 Refusal of legal aid by magistrates' courts.

6 Refusal of legal aid by magistrates' courts.

(1) Provision may be made by regulations—

(a ) for enabling a person who has been refused legal aid under the principal Act by a magistrates' court to apply to such other court or body as may be specified in the regulations; and

(b ) for that other court or body to make any legal aid order that could have been made by the magistrates' court.

(2) Regulations made for the purposes of this section may make provision as to the manner in which, and the time when, applications may be made under the regulations and may make different provision for different cases.

(3) Regulations made for the purposes of this section shall be made with the concurrence of the Treasury.

(4) Where a legal aid order is made by virtue of regulations made for the purposes of this section, the provisions of this Act relating to legal aid contribution orders shall have effect with such modifications as may be specified in the regulations.

S-7 Legal aid contribution orders.

7 Legal aid contribution orders.

(1) Where a court makes a legal aid order giving legal aid to a person whose disposable income or disposable capital exceeds the limits prescribed in relation to such income and capital respectively the court shall, subject to the provisions of this section, make an order (‘a legal aid contribution order’) requiring him to make a payment (in this Act referred to as ‘a contribution’) in respect of the costs of the legal aid.

(2) The contribution which a legal aid contribution order requires a person to make shall be of such amount as is applicable in his case in accordance with regulations made for the purposes of this section; and any such contribution shall be paid in one sum or by instalments as may be prescribed.

(3) In a case where the legally assisted person has not attained the age of sixteen, the court may, instead of or in addition to making a legal aid contribution order against him, make such an order against any person who is an appropriate contributor in relation to him and whose disposable income or disposable capital exceeds the limits referred to in subsection (1) above.

(4) Where a court makes a legal aid order for the giving of legal aid to a person who has attained the age of sixteen and does so without first requiring him to furnish a statement of the principal Act because it appears to the court that he is by reason of his physical or mental condition incapable of doing so—

(a ) no legal aid contribution order need be made at the time when the legal aid order is made; but

(b ) if it subsequently appears to the court having power to make a legal aid...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT