Applying for a legal aid certificate
The application for a legal aid certificate is made to the relevant decision maker via EOS. The Submissions tab in EOS allows a user to make submissions for legal aid certificates.
The Regulations provide that an application for a certificate must be made in writing in the prescribed form and must include:-
- the information deemed necessary by the Board to enable it to decide whether or not a certificate should be granted;
- an opinion signed by a member of staff as to whether a certificate should be granted; and
- a statement that the applicant has been advised on matters in respect of which a member of staff is required to give advice under the Act and Regulations.
The Board has mandated the use of EOS as the “prescribed form” for the purposes of the Regulations, and has decided that the completion of the form using a solicitor’s user account on EOS is sufficient to satisfy the writing/signature requirements.
Procedure 3.1 Applying for legal aid on EOS
- On the Submissions tab in EOS, select “Create New Submission”
- Select the following options:
Submission Type: Submission for a Legal Aid Certificate (Family Law or Non Family Law, as appropriate)
- Type of Proceedings: The matter for which you are instituting or defending proceedings, as appropriate.
- Court: The Court in which you intend to bring to or in which the plaintiff is bringing the proceedings. (Where making a submission for a legal aid certificate the “No Court Required” option should not be chosen).
- Litigation Options: The appropriate option (usually Institute or Defend, but you should not choose “None Required” when making a submission for a legal aid certificate).
- Recommendation: Grant or Refuse, as appropriate.
- Decision Maker: Legal Services Submissions Inbox
- Status: To Be Submitted
- If you need to enclose any documents with the Submission, choose them from the “Documents” drop down.
- In the Statement of Facts, enter your submission for a legal aid certificate, in accordance with the guidelines in this Circular. If the submission is likely to be lengthy, you should create it as a document on the Documents tab (from the Statement of Facts template), check the “Make Available to Legal Services” checkbox beside it. You may then simply make reference to that submission in the Statement of Facts field.
- Additional Authorities, such as the services of Counsel, GPs reports, witnesses etc may be applied for by choosing the relevant service from the “Additional Authority” drop down, entering in the reason you are seeking the additional authority (in line with any directions given in this Circular) and clicking “Add Additional Authority”. It is possible to add more than one additional authority in a submission.
- When finished, click the “Make Submission” button.
- Check that your submission has the status of “submitted” and not “saved as a draft” as EOS allows you to save a draft submission without submitting it and users may inadvertently choose this option.
Remember that you must click on the Documents tab and click the “Available to Legal Services” checkbox beside any documents you need to make available to Legal Services.