The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The availability of legal aid (formerly public funding) in relation to family proceedings was significantly reduced with effect from 1 April 2013, following the coming into force of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPOA 2012). This Practice Note sets out initial considerations when advising a client who may be eligible for legal aid. If acting for a party in proceedings where the other party is legal aided, see Practice Note: Implications of legal aid.
In NJDB v United Kingdom (App. No. 76760/12), the European Court of Human Rights ruled that it was not incumbent on the state to seek, through the use of public funds, to ensure total equality of arms between an assisted person and the opposing party, as long as each side was afforded a reasonable opportunity to present their case under conditions that did not place them at a substantial disadvantage in relation to their adversary. In that case, the Scottish Legal Aid Board had refused the applicant legal aid to bring an appeal to the Supreme Court, which was maintained on review. However, the applicant's counsel and solicitors agreed to act pro bono and the Supreme Court waived its fees.
As from 1 April 2013, legal aid is only available for a limited range of family cases including:
**excludes LexisPSL Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial.
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