While the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights relates only to the determination of criminal charges, nevertheless there is a very similar right to free legal assistance. We know that every case is different from the last, and we strive to ensure that our legal services reflect this. We can tailor our services to any situation and any client.
- Who can help you if you need advice about a legal problem, such as debt, housing, benefits, employment, divorce or claims for money.
- Find out how to get legal help if you’re on a low income, including advice from a law centre or legal aid solicitor, and trial or tribunal representation by a pro bono barrister.
- If you need professional legal advice, your local advice centre is a good place to start.
- Advocate provides people with free legal advice and representation in court and tribunal cases from volunteer barristers.
Barristers and solicitors are no longer able to make paper applications or payment requests for legal aid. Legal Services Agency NI only accepts online applications and requests through an nidirect account. Advice centres such as law centres, are staffed by solicitors and other specialist caseworkers who can offer free legal advice and help you decide whether a solicitor or another legal adviser is needed. The LawWorks Clinics Network provides free initial advice to individuals on various areas of social welfare law including employment law, housing matters, consumer disputes, debt and welfare rights. Guidance, news and advice for legal aid practitioners and information about our campaigns for an adequately funded legal aid system and access to justice for all. To sign up for our Legal Aid Update newsletter, add this topic in My LS by clicking the button below.
You might be able to take out a special insurance policy before the court case that’ll cover your costs if you lose. If you lose, you won’t usually pay your solicitor’s fee but you’ll still have to pay something. You might have to pay the other side’s costs and you might have to pay your solicitor’s expenses, for example, for medical or accident reports. A free or fixed-fee appointment can help you find out your rights and legal position.
Advocate provides people with free legal advice and representation in court and tribunal cases from volunteer barristers. Some offer a fixed fee – that way you’ll know in advance what the advice will cost. You can call a solicitor’s office and ask if they offer a free half hour or a fixed fee. If you’ve been arrested and you’re going to be questioned at a police station, you can find out about your right to free legal advice on GOV.UK – it doesn’t matter what your income is.
You don’t need to pay anything for these legal services. 31 events across the 5 days of the conference – attended by over 800 practitioners and others with a keen interest in access to justice and legal aid. We work closely with other representative bodies to raise awareness about the importance of legal aid and the work of legal aid practitioners. We raise concerns with government about policy and operational issues in an effort to improve the current system which excludes some of the most vulnerable members of society. Download a copy of the October 2021 Westminster Commission on Legal Aid’s report for a detailed exposition of the issues across the broken legal aid system. We fully endorse the Commission’s recommendations for increasing access for clients and improving sustainability for providers.
If you’re going to a tribunal or court without a lawyer, find out where to get help to represent yourself and what a McKenzie Friend, the Personal Support Unit or an interpreter can do. Unions can sometimes offer free legal help such as finding and paying for a solicitor – and not just for work problems. You should check the agreement carefully and ask your solicitor to explain what you might have to pay if you lose your claim. You might be able to get a short appointment with a solicitor for free or a set cost. Other solicitors might work for you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.
Members of LAPG receive regular updates about developments in the operation of the legal aid scheme and policy issues. Members have access to discounted training courses and events such as our well-regarded annual conference. Legal aid is help for people who can’t afford to pay for legal advice or representation in court by a solicitor or barrister. There are three different schemes that pay legal aid for people needing legal advice and representation if a case goes to court. If you need legal assistance but cannot afford to pay for a lawyer, Legal Aid helps meet the costs of legal advice, family mediation and representation in a court or tribunal. A person being interviewed by the police about criminal charges is entitled to free legal aid for police station advice.
All the sessions were recorded so if you attended the conference but missed a session, get in touch and we will give you access to the recording. Helplines Practice Advice Service Our Practice Advice Service offers free and confidential support on legal practice and procedure. Information about the Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland, forms and guidance for legal professionals and guidance for members of the public.
If you can’t get legal aid, there’s a small chance you might get help through ‘exceptional case funding’. You’ll only get guidance on whether or not you can get legal aid – you will not get a final decision until you speak to an adviser. To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone. Protecting your legal rights is challenging when dealing with Mental Health issues.