Legal Aid Directive UK Compliance
Article 15 - Processing of Applications
The computer systems of the United Kingdom legal aid authorities ensure that applicants are informed when applications are received and when any decisions are made on an application.
Reasons are always given by the appropriate authority for all full or partial rejections of applications.
In England and Wales, for most forms of legal aid there is a right of appeal to an independent legal panel of experienced lawyers drawn from private practice. Procedures for review of refusal of applications for civil legal aid are also in place in Scotland. All refusals of legal aid in the United Kingdom are challengeable by the Courts through judicial review.
Article 16 - Standard Form
In England and Wales the standard form established under this Directive will entitle the applicant to any required pre-litigation advice. As with any applicant, further information or a further form may be required to proceed to representation in Court. The solicitor providing initial advice will assist the client in preparing any further information or application form that may be required.
Scotland will accept the standard form for applications for civil legal aid for representation from November 2004 but is not yet in a position to introduce measures which will allow it to accept applications for pre litigation advice and assistance under the Directive. However, the existing advice and assistance scheme allows pre litigation advice to be made available to cross border applicants regardless of nationality or residence.
As well as the standard form under this Directive, the United Kingdom will, of course, accept applications for legal aid from persons using its own domestic application forms in cross border cases.
In relation to Article 18 full information and guidance on legal aid in the United Kingdom can be found in the following website:
Legal Services Commission for England and Wales: www.legalservices.gov.uk
Legal Aid Board for Scotland: www.slab.org.uk
Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission: www.nilsc.org.uk
Transposition Note for Implementation in The United Kingdom of the Legal Aid Directive (PDF File 103 KB)