Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Publication Date:January 01, 2012
 
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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

2012 CHAPTER 10

An Act to make provision about legal aid; to make further provision about funding legal services; to make provision about costs and other amounts awarded in civil and criminal proceedings; to make provision about referral fees in connection with the provision of legal services; to make provision about sentencing offenders, including provision about release on licence or otherwise; to make provision about the collection of fines and other sums; to make provision about bail and about remand otherwise than on bail; to make provision about the employment, payment and transfer of persons detained in prisons and other institutions; to make provision about penalty notices for disorderly behaviour and cautions; to make provision about the rehabilitation of offenders; to create new offences of threatening with a weapon in public or on school premises and of causing serious injury by dangerous driving; to create a new offence relating to squatting; to increase penalties for offences relating to scrap metal dealing and to create a new offence relating to payment for scrap metal; and to amend section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

[1st May 2012]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1 Legal aid

Part 1

Legal aid

Provision of legal aid

Provision of legal aid

S-1 Lord Chancellor's functions

1 Lord Chancellor's functions

(1) The Lord Chancellor must secure that legal aid is made available in accordance with this Part.

(2) In this Part "legal aid" means-

(a) civil legal services required to be made available under section 9 or 10 or paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 (civil legal aid), and

(b) services consisting of advice, assistance and representation required to be made available under section 13, 15 or 16 or paragraph 4 or 5 of Schedule 3 (criminal legal aid).

(3) The Lord Chancellor may secure the provision of-

(a) general information about the law and the legal system, and

(b) information about the availability of advice a bout, and assistance in connection with, the law and the legal system.

(4) The Lord Chancellor may do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is incidental or conducive to, the carrying out of the Lord Chancellor's functions under this Part.

(5) Nothing in this Part affects the powers that the Lord Chancellor has otherwise than under this Part.

S-2 Arrangements

2 Arrangements

(1) The Lord Chancellor may make such arrangements as the Lord Chancellor considers appropriate for the purposes of carrying out the Lord Chancellor's functions under this Part.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may, in particular, make arrangements by-

(a) making grants or loans to enable persons to provide services or facilitate the provision of services

(b) making grants or loans to individuals to enable them to obtain services, and

(c) establishing and maintaining a body to provide services or facilitate the provision of services.

(3) The Lord Chancellor may by regulations make provision about the payment of remuneration by the Lord Chancellor to persons who provide services under arrangements made for the purposes of this Part.

(4) If the Lord Chancellor makes arrangements for the purposes of this Part that provide for a court, tribunal or other person to assess remuneration payable by the Lord Chancellor, the court, tribunal or person must assess the remuneration in accordance with the arrangements and, if relevant, with regulations under subsection (3).

(5) The Lord Chancellor may make different arrangements, in particular, in relation to-

(a) different areas in England and Wales

(b) different descriptions of case, and

(c) different classes of person.

S-3 Standards of service

3 Standards of service

(1) The Lord Chancellor may set and monitor standards in relation to services made available under this Part.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may, in particular, make arrangements for the accreditation of persons providing, or wishing to provide, such services by-

(a) the Lord Chancellor, or

(b) persons authorised by the Lord Chancellor.

(3) Arrangements for accreditation must include-

(a) arrangements for monitoring services provided by accredited persons, and

(b) arrangements for withdrawing accreditation where the services provided are unsatisfactory.

(4) The Lord Chancellor may impose charges in connection with-

(a) accreditation

(b) monitoring services provided by accredited persons, and

(c) authorising accreditation by others.

(5) Persons authorised by the Lord Chancellor may, in accordance with the terms of their authorisation, impose charges in connection with-

(a) accreditation, and

(b) monitoring services provided by accredited persons.

S-4 Director of Legal Aid Casework

4 Director of Legal Aid Casework

(1) The Lord Chancellor must designate a civil servant as the Director of Legal Aid Casework ("the Director").

(2) The Lord Chancellor must make arrangements for the provision to the Director by civil servants or other persons (or both) of such assistance as the Lord Chancellor considers appropriate.

(3) The Director must-

(a) comply with directions given by the Lord Chancellor about the carrying out of the Director's functions under this Part, and

(b) have regard to guidance given by the Lord Chancellor about the carrying out of those functions.

(4) But the Lord Chancellor-

(a) must not give a direction or guidance about the carrying out of those functions in relation to an individual case, and

(b) must ensure that the Director acts independently of the Lord Chancellor when applying a direction or guidance under subsection (3) in relation to an individual case.

(5) The Lord Chancellor must publish any directions and guidance given under this section.

(6) Directions and guidance under this section may be revised or withdrawn from time to time.

S-5 Delegation

5 Delegation

(1) The following functions of the Lord Chancellor may be exercised by, or by employees of, a person authorised by the Lord Chancellor for that purpose-

(a) securing the provision of information under section 1(3), and

(b) setting and monitoring standards under section 3.

(2) Regulations may provide for a function of the Lord Chancellor under regulations made under this Part to be exercisable by, or by employees of, a person authorised by the Lord Chancellor for that purpose.

(3) The functions conferred on the Director by this Part may be exercised by, or by employees of, a person authorised by the Director for that purpose.

(4) Regulations may provide for a function of the Director under regulations made under this Part to be exercisable by, or by employees of, a person authorised by the Director for that purpose.

(5) A direction given by the Lord Chancellor under section 4 about the carrying out of the Director's functions may, in particular, require the Director-

(a) to authorise, or not to authorise, a person to carry out a function specified in the direction, or

(b) to authorise, or not to authorise, a person specified, or of a description specified, in the direction to carry out such a function.

(6) Regulations under subsection (2) or (4) may provide that a function may be exercised-

(a) wholly or to a limited extent

(b) generally or in particular cases or areas

(c) unconditionally or subject to conditions.

(7) An authorisation given for the purposes of this section or regulations under this section may provide that a function may be exercised-

(a) wholly or to a limited extent

(b) generally or in particular cases or areas

(c) unconditionally or subject to conditions.

(8) In the case of an authorisation given for the purposes of regulations under this section, subsection (7) is subject to the provisions of the regulations.

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