Who we are
We are the Legal Aid Board - an independent, publicly funded organisation providing civil legal aid and advice, family mediation services, and administering three ad-hoc legal aid schemes connected with criminal matters.
The Board consists of a chairperson and twelve ordinary members. They are appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality and have a five-year term of office.
We have a Chief Executive and approximately 450 staff in 48 offices across the country.
We have been in existence since 1979. Before the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 was enacted, we provided services under an administrative scheme of civil legal aid and advice.
What we do
We were established by the Oireachtas under the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 to provide civil legal aid and advice to persons unable to afford a solicitor. Since 2011 we also provide family mediation services.
Our Corporate Plan 2015 – 2017 sets out our mission, which is "to facilitate the effective resolution of civil disputes through the delivery of efficient and accessible legal aid and mediation services and to effectively manage and administer the State’s criminal legal aid schemes". The Corporate Plan sets out a number of steps that we have taken in order to achieve this mission.
Our role in relation to criminal legal aid
We manage and administer three ad-hoc schemes:
> The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme
> The Legal Aid – Custody Issues Scheme
> The Criminal Assets Bureau Ad-hoc Legal Aid Scheme
Our criminal legal aid section is located at 48-49 North Brunswick Street, Georges Lane, Smithfield, Dublin D07 PE0C.
What we don't do
We do not provide legal aid to defendants in criminal cases. That is a function of the courts.
Payments to criminal legal aid lawyers are administered by the Department of Justice and Equality
Where we are
Our head office is at Quay St, Cahirciveen, Co Kerry V23 RD36. We also have an office at 48-49 North Brunswick Street, Georges Lane, Smithfield, Dublin D07 PE0C where some head office functions are based.
We have thirty full time law centres and seventeen mediation offices located throughout the country. We also have a research and information service based at Montague Court, 7-11 Montague Street, Dublin D02 FT96.