The Practical Lawyer


Civil legal aid – backdated

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has announced that from 20 February 2019, the director of legal aid casework will have discretionary powers to backdate some civil legal aid determinations. 

This will mean that legal aid will be available to cover urgent work carried out before the LAA makes a determination.

Legal aid providers will be able to apply to backdate a determination to cover any urgent work that they have started, for example, at the weekend.

It will only be possible to use the backdating power where certain conditions are met, namely:

a) the application for the services was made as soon as reasonably practicable;

b) the director is satisfied that:

i) it was in the interests of justice for the services to be carried out prior to the date of the determination; and

ii) the services could not have been carried out as Controlled Work; and

c) in the case of reconsidering a determination on review or following an appeal, having regard to all the circumstances, including the information that was available to the provider when the application for the services or the application for the review was made, the director is satisfied that it is appropriate for the determination to have effect from the earlier date.

The ‘out of hours’ service will close on 19 February 2019.



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