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Criteria for granting additional services generally

The general criteria for granting any additional authority is the same as that for a grant of legal aid i.e. the factors in sections 24-28 of the Act apply. The “reduced merits” test applies if the subject matter of the proceedings is the welfare of a child or a sex offenders order.

The refusal of an application for an amended certificate must be grounded in the Act and regulations.

A refusal of an application to amend a certificate can be grounded on any of the merits criteria in the Act.  The following criteria are considered especially relevant to granting applications for additional services. If the application is for an appeal the full merits criteria (or the “reduced” merits test, where appropriate) should be applied.

SectionGroundNotes/Reasons

S24(a)

a reasonably prudent person, whose means were such that the cost of seeking such services at his or her own expense, while representing a financial obstacle to him or her would not be such as to impose undue hardship upon him or her, would be likely to seek such services in such circumstances at his or her own expense,Would an average person with means pay for the additional service themselves and
S24(b)a solicitor or barrister acting reasonably would be likely to advise him or her to obtain such services at his or her own expense.Is this something that legal professionals would be likely to advise getting.
s28(2)(e)having regard to all the circumstances of the case (including the probable cost to the Board, measured against the likely benefit to the applicant) it is reasonable to grant it.

Is the cost of the additional service out of proportion to the case?

This does not apply in proceedings where the welfare of a child is the subject matter of the dispute or to sex offenders order cases.

S28(4)(d)

such information as is reasonably required by the Board from the applicant to enable it to make a decision on whether to grant a legal aid certificate or not has not been provided by him or herThe necessary information has not been provided on which a decision can be based.