Contempt proceedings at first instance: power of the court to assign solicitor or counsel

Section 31 of the Act gives someone receiving legal aid the right to select their own solicitor and counsel.  However, section 30(2) restricts this right for contempt proceedings at first instance.

  • Firstly, the court may order the legal aid to consist of representation by counsel only or (if a court where solicitors have a right of audience is dealing with the matter) by a solicitor only.
  • Secondly, when the court makes such an order, it may assign for the purpose any solicitor or counsel who is within the precincts of the court at the time it makes the order.

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