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Extent of legal advice service

At pre trial stage, law centres should explain to complainants the procedures and reassure them about, e.g., any delays in the progress being made in the case. 

Occasionally a member of staff may also accompany the client during the trial itself, primarily to provide reassurance regarding actual procedures. It is not expected that a staff member would sit through a lengthy trial.

The availability of the legal services is restricted to complainants after the proceedings have actually been commenced, as opposed to persons making serious allegations.

The Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990, provides that all rape cases will be heard by the Central Criminal Court, which almost always sits in Dublin.  It is not considered feasible to limit the provision of the legal services envisaged under this Act to particular staff or law centre based in Dublin.  Accordingly, all law centres should deal with such applications for legal services insofar as the pre-trial stage is concerned. At trial Dublin based staff will usually provide assistance, if required to do so.