Pilot Private Practitioner Scheme for Certain Cases on Foot of the Child Care Act 1991
The Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 (“the Act”) provides that the Legal Aid Board (“the Board”) may establish and maintain a panel of solicitors who are willing to provide legal aid and advice to persons who are in receipt of legal services. The Board has maintains a panel of solicitors on a pilot basis who are willing to provide services to persons who have been granted a legal aid certificate by the Board for the purpose of advice and representation in relation to certain cases on foot of the Child Care Act 1991 (as amended). The panel is to be known as the “Pilot Child Care Panel”. The pilot is operative in Co Donegal and is now being extended to include cases in the Counties of Wexford and Dublin.
Panel of solicitors
The Pilot Child Care Panel is operative in Co. Donegal, Wexford and Dublin.
There are no plans at present to extend the panel to cover other areas. However, the matter is kept under review and if and when new applications are being accepted the website will be updated accordingly to this effect.
Retention of Counsel
In limited circumstances a solicitor may deem it necessary to engage Counsel to carry out some of the work. Where this is the case the Board will not be liable for Counsel’s fees unless the solicitor first seeks, and receives, authorisation from the Board to engage Counsel
Scope of the scheme
The Scheme shall apply in relation to persons who have been granted legal aid certificates issued for by the Board for representation in the District Court for certain cases on foot of the Child Care Act 1991 (as amended). If a legally aided client wishes to appeal the District Court Order to the Circuit Court, an application for an amendment to the certificate may be made to the Private Practitioner Unit.
Operation of the scheme
Persons seeking legal services make their applications at law centres. In the event that an applicant is granted a legal aid certificate for a child care matter the Board may refer the person to the Pilot Child Care Panel to select a solicitor from the Pilot Child Care Panel to act on their behalf. Legal services cannot be provided under the Scheme without a valid legal aid certificate.
There shall be a standard scale of fees payable per case to solicitors/firms on the Pilot Child Care Panel for the provision of serivces.
The Claim Form shall be the document whereby the solicitor shall be entitled to claim the appropriate fee and any authorised outlay.