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The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

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Application for assistance for proceedings under Article 120

121.—(1) An individual who is an actual or prospective party to proceedings to which this Article applies may apply to the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Protection Against Unlawful Industrial Action (in this Article and Article 122 referred to as “the Commissioner”) for assistance in relation to the proceedings, and the Commissioner shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the application, consider it and decide whether and to what extent to grant it.

(2) This Article applies to proceedings or prospective proceedings to the extent that they consist in, or arise out of, an application to the High Court under Article 120 brought with respect to an act of a trade union; but the Department may by order subject to affirmative resolution, provide that this Article shall also apply to such proceedings brought with respect to an act of a person other than a trade union. (3) The matters to which the Commissioner may have regard in determining whether, and to what extent, to grant an application under this Article include—

(a)whether it is unreasonable, having regard to the complexity of the case, to expect the applicant to deal with it unaided, and

(b)whether, in the Commissioner’s opinion, the case involves a matter of substantial public interest or concern.

(4) If the Commissioner decides not to provide assistance, he shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after making the decision, notify the applicant of his decision and, if he thinks fit, of the reasons for it.

(5) If the Commissioner decides to provide assistance, he shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after making the decision—

(a)notify the applicant, stating the extent of the assistance to be provided, and

(b)give him a choice, subject to any restrictions specified in the notification, as to the financial arrangements to be made in connection with the provision of the assistance.

(6) The assistance provided may include the making of arrangements for, or for the Commissioner to bear the costs of—

(a)the giving of advice or assistance by a solicitor or counsel, and

(b)the representation of the applicant, or the provision to him of such assistance as is usually given by a solicitor or counsel—

(i)in steps preliminary or incidental to the proceedings, or

(ii)in arriving at or giving effect to a compromise to avoid or bring an end to the proceedings.

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