Regulation 31: termination of legal aid where conduct of assisted person incompatible with continued grant

We may stop making legal aid available in certain situations specified in Regulation 31 irrespective of any change of circumstances, where the conduct of the assisted person is incompatible with the continued grant of public funds.  Under regulation 31, legal aid may be withdrawn in the following circumstances:

  • where they have instructed you to conduct proceedings in an unreasonable way so that some unjustifiable expense is caused to public funds; or
  • where they have not complied with any condition imposed under Section 14(2) of the 1986 Act (conditions imposed by the Board); or
  • where they have failed without reasonable excuse to attend for interview or to provide information or documents required under the regulations; or
  • where they are in arrears with instalments of a contribution.

Termination in these circumstances does not affect the assisted person’s status during the period while the grant of legal aid was in force, and does not entitle us to recover our outlay from the assisted person.

Regulation 31(b): other possible reasons for termination of legal aid

In addition, regulation 31(b) allows us to stop legal aid if

  • we are satisfied that we have wrongly assessed whether the assisted person has probable cause, or whether it is reasonable in the particular circumstances of the case that the assisted person should receive legal aid, and
  • we consider that legal aid should never have been made available.

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