Criminal: Contempt of court: refusals of legal aid

Reviews of our refusal to grant legal aid for contempt

While we do not have to review your client’s application if they have been refused legal aid for an appeal in contempt proceedings  we will reconsider the application if we are satisfied there are good grounds for doing so.

Power of court to determine the interests of justice

If the court decides it is in the interests of justice for your client to receive legal aid they may decide legal aid should be available, before disposing of the appeal. We must then immediately grant legal aid.

Successful contempt appeals and payment under Secretary of State’s Determination

If we refuse legal aid for an appeal but the appeal nonetheless proceeds and is successful, you may be entitled to payment of your fees and outlays.

If the case comes within the terms of the Determination, we may pay if the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The accused successfully appealed against a decision of a court in proceedings for contempt
  • After consideration of your client’s financial circumstances when they initially applied, that the expenses of the appeal would cause them or their dependants undue hardship
  • That it is reasonable that payment should be made

We will deal with any account of your fees and outlays for the successful appeal as if legal aid had been made available.

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