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Let the other side be heard

There are two aspects to this, one relates to solicitors, and one to decision makers.

Solicitors

A solicitor is under the following duties in relation to an application:

  • to inform the client that they are going to make an application for legal services
  • to allow the client to put fully their case for a grant of legal aid to them
  • to put their client’s case fully forward even if they ultimately recommend a refusal
  • to give the decision maker all the information he/she needs to make an informed decision.

Decision makers
If a decision maker feels that they have not got sufficient information to make an informed decision, they should revert to the solicitor and ask them to provide more information.

This does not mean that the applicant is entitled to an oral hearing of their decision. Given the volume of applications received, this would be impractical. The topic of oral hearings at the appeal committee is dealt with in Part 6.