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The merits test for amending certificates

It’s important to note that the merits test is still relevant, and applies, to any application for legal aid to amend a certificate. Take the example of applying for an amendment to a certificate to enforce a judgement. If the judgement is for a relatively small amount or there is little prospect of making a recovery but the person insists on steps being taken, it may be appropriate to make the application to amend the certificate with a recommendation for refusal. It is important to include a full Statement of Facts with applications to amend certificates in the same way that you would with an application for a certificate.

Part 5 deals with the decision making process, for both applications for legal aid and additional services, in greater detail.

Procedure 3.2 Applying for an amended legal aid certificate

  1. On the Submissions tab in EOS, select “Create New Submission”
  2. Select the following options:
    1. Submission Type: Submission for an Amended Legal Aid Certificate
    2. Recommendation: Grant or Refuse, as appropriate.
    3. Decision Maker: Legal Services Submissions Inbox
    4. Status: To Be Submitted
  3. If seeking additional steps:
    1. Type of Proceedings: The matter for which you are instituting or defending proceedings, as appropriate.
    2. Court: The Court in which you intend to bring to or in which the plaintiff is bringing the proceedings.
    3. Litigation Options: The appropriate option.
    4. If seeking additional services, you must choose the Type of Proceedings, Court, and Litigation Options you are already authorised for on your original certificate.
  4. If you need to enclose any documents with the Submission, choose them from the “Documents” drop down.
  5. In the Statement of Facts, enter your submission for the additional steps required, in accordance with the guidelines in this Circular. If the submission is likely to be lengthy, it is permissible to create it as a document on the Documents tab (from the blank document 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.
  6. If seeking additional services:
    1. Additional Authority: Choose the relevant additional service you require.
    2. Authority Reason: Enter your submission for the additional service required, in accordance with the guidelines in this circular
  7. Click “Add Additional Authority”. It is possible to add more than one additional authority in a submission.
  8. When finished, click the “Make Submission” button
  9. 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.