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Criminal Legal Aid & Ad-hoc Schemes - Further Information

The role of the Legal Aid Board

In 2010 the Government decided that the administration of the five Criminal Legal Aid Schemes should transfer from the Department of Justice and Equality to the Legal Aid Board.

The Criminal Legal Aid Section of the Legal Aid Board was set up to enable this transfer and the Board currently administers three non-statutory Criminal Legal Aid Schemes, namely:

    • The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme
    • The Legal Aid – Custody Issues Scheme
    • The Criminal Assets Bureau Ad-hoc Legal Aid Scheme

The Criminal Legal Aid Scheme and the District Court Counsel Scheme currently remain the responsibility of the Courts Policy Division of the Department of Justice & Equality.

The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme

The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme allows for legal advice to be provided to people detained in Garda Stations. The Revised Scheme provides, in certain circumstances, for payments to solicitors for:

    • consultations with detainees;
    • solicitor attendance at Garda Stations for a Garda/Detainee interview;
    • Solicitor attendance at a Garda Station for an I.D. Parade.

The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme began on August 15th 2014, replacing the original Scheme which had been operating since 2001.

Detention Legislation covered by the Scheme

The Scheme covers detentions under:

    • Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act 1939 (as amended);
    • Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984, (as amended);
    • Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996, (as amended);
    • Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007, (as amended).

Claims for detentions under Section 42 of the Criminal Justice Act 1999 and Sections 16 & 17 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2010 will be dealt with as if the detainee had been detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

The Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme also covers payments to solicitors for Extension Hearings held in the District Court where the Gardaí apply to extend the time limit for holding a detainee.

Applying for the Scheme and Financial Eligibility

People detained under the above legislation and who are in receipt of Social Welfare payments or who are in employment with earnings of less than €20,316 per year (gross) are eligible to receive help under the Scheme.

Applicants for the Scheme must complete the declaration on the GLAS 2 Form.

Claiming Fees under the Scheme

The full scope of the Scheme and the procedure regarding payments for legal practitioners are documented in the Garda Station Legal Advice Revised Scheme Provisions and Guidance Document. Claims for fees must be submitted on a fully completed GLAS 2 Form.

The Legal Aid - Custody Issues Scheme 

The Legal Aid - Custody Issues Scheme (LA-CIS) provides payment for legal representation in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court for certain types of cases not covered by Civil Legal Aid or the Criminal Legal Aid Schemes. The cases covered include:

  • Habeas Corpus (Article 40.4.2) Applications;
  • High / Appeal / Supreme Court Bail Motions;
  • Certain types of Judicial Review;
  • Extradition and European Arrest Warrant Applications 

The Scheme provides legal representation for people who need it but who cannot afford it. It is not an alternative to costs. For this reason the application for the Scheme must be made to the Court at the start of the proceedings. Members of the public should get their own legal advice as to whether their case is eligible under the Scheme.

The Legal Aid – Custody Issues Scheme does not deal with Child Custody cases which fall under the area of civil legal aid

Applying for the Scheme and Financial Eligibility

A person applying for the Scheme must satisfy the Court that they cannot hire a solicitor without the benefit of the Scheme. To help the Court in considering the applicant’s financial means the applicant must give the Court a fully completed Form CI 3 Application Legal Services / Declaration of Financial Means.

The information provided by the applicant must be correct. If the applicant misleads the Court, the Legal Aid Board will not consider payment of the legal fees. In such circumstances, the applicant will be responsible for their own legal expenses.

The applicant should check with a solicitor that their case falls under the scope of the Scheme. Applicants should tell the court at the beginning of the case that they would like to apply for the Scheme.

Solicitors & counsel claiming fees under the LA-CIS

Solicitors and counsel intending to provide representation under the Scheme should consult the Legal Aid Custody Issues Scheme Provisions and Guidance Document for the full terms and conditions of the Scheme. Claims for payment should be submitted on a fully completed CI 1 Form. In the case of High Court Bail fees, claims should be submitted on a fully completed CI 2 Form.

Expert Witness and Translator/Interpreter fees under the LA-CIS

There are additional Guidance Documents for other Service Providers under the Legal Aid – Custody Issues Scheme. The Expert Witness Fees Procedures and Guidelines Document and the Procedures and Guidelines for claiming Translators / Interpreters Fees should be consulted. In the case of translators and interpreters, all invoices must be accompanied by a CI 4 Attendance Form.

Prison Visits under the LA-CIS

Where a solicitor or counsel must visit their client in prison, the Guidelines on the use of the CLA11 Prison Visit Form should be consulted. The CLA 11 Prison Visit Claim Form is available from the prison reception office.

The Criminal Assets Bureau Ad-hoc Legal Aid Scheme

The Criminal Assets Bureau Ad-hoc Legal Aid Scheme provides legal representation for people who need it but who cannot afford it. The following types of cases are included under the Scheme:

    • certain Court proceedings brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act, 1996 as amended by the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005, the Revenue Acts or the Social Welfare Acts;
    • Social Welfare Appeals made to the Circuit Court under Section 34 of the Social Welfare Act, 1997 (this is now considered to apply to Social Welfare Appeals under Section 307 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005);
    • Tax Appeals made to the Circuit Court under the Taxes Acts where the Criminal Assets Bureau or its Chief Bureau Officer or any member of the Criminal Assets Bureau is the Respondent and / or Defendant;
    • applications made by the Director of Public Prosecutions under Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1994.

The Scheme is not an alternative to costs. For this reason the application to access the Scheme must be made to the Court at the start of the proceedings. Members of the public should get their own legal advice as to whether their case is eligible under the Scheme.

Applying for the Scheme and Financial Eligibility

A person applying for the Scheme must satisfy the Court that they cannot hire a solicitor without the benefit of the Scheme.

The applicant must apply to the court at the beginning of the case for the CAB Scheme and the Court must make an Order granting the Scheme.

Solicitors & counsel claiming fees under the CAB Scheme

Claims for payment should be submitted on a fully completed CLA 8(A) Form. Solicitors should consult the Scheme Procedures and Guidelines before submitting a claim for fees.

Expert Witness fees under the CAB Scheme

Where fees are being claimed in respect of forensic accountants, expert witnesses or other costs, the claim for such fees must be submitted by the relevant solicitor who engaged the service provider. A Court Order granting the Scheme to the forensic accountant/expert witness or other service provider must be submitted for the fee to be considered.

Prison Visits under the CAB Scheme

Where a solicitor or counsel must visit their client in prison, the Guidelines on the use of the CLA 11 Prison Visit Form should be consulted. The CLA 11 Prison Visit Claim Form is available from the prison reception office.