The LSA has issued the key messages for legal aid suppliers for June 2022.
Domestic Abuse Waiver
Practitioners are reminded of the discretionary Domestic Abuse Waiver that was introduced on 22 February 2022. A new template for requesting evidence from the Police Service of Northern Ireland has now been added and a link to the document can be seen at paragraph 8 (c) of the LSANI guidance on seeking the domestic abuse waiver. The form is a Domestic Incident Confirmation Request Form for use for requests under the Domestic Abuse Waiver, Sec. 28 of the Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act NI 2021 and confirms there will be no fee for confirmation of information but a fee will apply for a report. Practitioners should again familiarise themselves with the guidance and associated documents:
LSANI guidance – seeking the domestic abuse waiver’ to be read alongside the DoJ Guidance ‘DoJ guidance – seeking the domestic abuse waiver in legal aid applications’ – both guidance documents can be located within the ‘Legislation and guidance’ area of the website. LSA Circular 06-22 provides an introduction to the guidance for application of the domestic abuse waiver.
The discretionary Domestic Abuse Waiver is limited to an applicant for legal aid where each of the following conditions are met, namely the applicant for legal aid:
- is or appears to be a victim of domestic abuse;
- is seeking funding as a respondent in proceedings relating to an Order under Article 8 of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;
- is responding to proceedings brought by the person who perpetrated or apparently perpetrated the abusive behaviour; and
- is personally connected to the individual who brought the Article 8 application.
Practitioners should familiarise themselves with the supporting documents which must be submitted with an application in which the exercise of the discretionary waiver is sought. This information is contained in paragraph 6 of the LSANI Guidance. Should supporting documentation not be submitted a query will be raised on the application asking for supporting documentation and processing will be delayed.
Practitioners are reminded that the annual LAMS reregistration exercise has now ended. There are still a number of individual suppliers and businesses who have not completed the process of re-registering for this year. If you have not completed reregistration then you will no longer have access to your caseload on LAMS and will not be able to submit requests for processing by the Agency.
If you have yet to complete the reregistration process but wish to continue to use LAMS you can still do so now by following the guidance provided:
- Circular – ‘LSA 07-22 – LAMS Reregistration of Individual & business accounts’ located within the ‘Circulars 2022’ area;
- Guidance – ‘LAMS – Reregistration manual’ located within the ‘LAMS reregistration guidance’ page, in the ‘LAMS guidance’ area;
- Guidance – ‘LAMS – Supplier & business reregistration checklist’ also located within the ‘LAMS reregistration guidance’ page, in the ‘LAMS guidance’ area.
Notes to editors:
- Justice Minister Naomi Long is extending the Sexual Offences Legal Advisers pilot scheme until March 2025. 15 February 2024
- Consultation on criminal assets recovery Codes of Practice launched 15 February 2024
- Long welcomes pilot scheme for filming in courts 09 February 2024
- Justice Minister welcomes inspection findings for Maghaberry and Magilligan 08 February 2024