The presence of a statutory factor does not necessarily lead to a grant of criminal legal aid. There may be contra-indicators which outweigh any favourable factors.

The following are examples of statements that we would not accept as satisfying the interests of justice test:

  • Your client should be legally represented because the prosecution is legally represented.
  • Your client is of “limited intelligence”.
  • Your client wishes to “put the Crown to proof”.
  • That it is in the “interests of the court and the witnesses” that your client should be represented.

Reference to the maximum penalty available on conviction will not, of itself, be sufficient to satisfy the interests of justice test.

We must take a balanced view in deciding whether it is in the interests of justice to grant criminal legal aid in any particular case.

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