This section contains information and forms in relation to applying to provide legal aid services:
Before you apply, take time to read the application guidelines. These will help you to determine which forms you need to complete, and which documents you need to provide.
The application process is not intended to be difficult or time-consuming: you need only provide enough information to satisfy the relevant legal requirements for approval. The application process has been designed to help you identify whether or not you meet the criteria for approval.
Approval requirements are set out in the:
These require that lawyers:
After a lawyer applies for approval, we consider the application to determine whether you meet all the criteria set out in the Act and the Regulations. Your application may be referred to a selection committee which will assess it and make a recommendation to the Secretary for Justice, who then makes the final decision.
The approval will be for a defined duration – usually for a period between two and five years depending on the type of approval and your experience.
Existing legal aid lawyers can apply to extend the duration of their approval. To be re-approved, you must continue to meet the criteria for approval set out in the Act and the Regulations.
The process focuses on your performance since the date of your most recent approval and is usually a more streamlined process from your first approval.
We will contact all lawyers who have approvals that are due to expire and tell them how to apply.
If your application for approval is declined, or conditions are imposed, you can apply for a review to the Review Authority.
You can complete your application form online or print and complete it by hand.
If you would like to discuss making an application for approval, please contact the Legal Aid Provider Services team.
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