Green Legal Aid Board logo

Access to Justice

 

What civil legal aid can cover, and what it can't cover

What does civil legal aid and advice cover?
Civil legal aid and advice can help you with problems which involve you and another person or organisation.

The following are examples of problems with civil legal aid and advice can cover:
> Family problems: if your marriage is breaking down, if you are in a dispute with the other parent of your children over who should have care of, contact with, or parental responsibility for your children, or if you need maintenance for your children.
> If Tusla wants to place your children in foster care or wants to supervise them in your home.
> If you have been injured and want to sue the person you think caused the injury
> If a contract has been broken
> Disputes between you and your employer (but we can't represent you at the Workplace Relations Commission or Labour Court).

What we can’t do

We don’t cover criminal matters
If you are have been accused of a criminal offence and are being prosecuted, talk to a private solicitor who deals with criminal cases. You can also ask the judge for legal aid on the first day you are in Court. You’ll have to fill out a statement of means and give it to the judge, who will decide if you can get legal aid.

There are some civil matters we can’t cover
There are some civil matters that we can’t provide legal aid in, such as defamation (formerly known as libel and slander), property disputes and licensing applications. Even then there are some exceptions. You should speak to a member of staff in one of our law centres if you are unsure that civil legal aid will cover your problem.

We can only represent you in a civil court
We can only represent you in the Irish civil courts. These are the:

> District Court,
> Circuit Court,
> High Court,
> Court of Appeal
> Supreme Court

We can also represent you if you already have legal aid and the court refers your case to the Court of Justice of the European Union to decide a point of EU law.

Unless you’re applying for asylum or subsidiary protection in Ireland, we can’t represent you at an administrative tribunal, like the Workplace Relations Commission or Labour Court.

If you need legal aid to appeal a decision of an administrative tribunal to a Court, we can help with that. If you’re applying for asylum and subsidiary protection in Ireland, we can represent you at the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

We can only give advice on the law of Ireland, and represent you in the Irish courts
Our solicitors are usually qualified in Irish law only, and can’t give you advice on the law of any other country. We can’t represent you in the courts of Northern Ireland or any other country.

If you need legal aid in another EU country (except Denmark), you can fill out the application form and send it us (at Quay Street, Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry V23 RD36) and we’ll send it on to the legal aid authority in the other country who will decide if you can get legal aid there.

>Legal aid is available for certain categories of inquests as set out in the Coroners Act 1962 and 2005. Please click here for further information.