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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2005 No. 501

LEGAL AID AND ADVICE

Legal Aid (Assessment of Resources) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005

Made

9th November 2005

To be laid before Parliament

Coming into operation

5th December 2005

The Lord Chancellor, in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 14, 22 and 27 of the Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(1), and now vested in him(2), hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Legal Aid (Assessment of Resources) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 and shall come into operation on 5th December 2005.

Interpretation

2.  In these Regulations “the principal regulations” means the Legal Aid (Assessment of Resources) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1981(3).

Amendment to the principal regulations

3.  In regulation 1(2) of the principal regulations after the definition of “child” there shall be inserted—

“civil partner” has the meaning assigned to it by section 1 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004(4);

4.  In regulation 7(1), 7(2), 7(2)(i) and 7(2)(ii) of the principal regulations after each instance of the word “spouse” there shall be inserted the words “or civil partner”.

5.  In regulation 7(3) of the principal regulations after the words “parties to a marriage” there shall be added the words “or civil partnership”.

6.  In paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 to the principal regulations after the word “spouse” there shall be inserted the words “or civil partner”.

7.  In paragraph 9(3) of Schedule 1 to the principal regulations for the words “his or her spouse” there shall be substituted the words “his or her spouse or civil partner”.

8.  In paragraph 11(1) of Schedule 1 to the principal regulations for the words “spouse of the person concerned, if the spouses” there shall be substituted the words “spouse or civil partner of the person concerned, if the spouses or civil partners”.

9.  In paragraph 11(1)(a) of Schedule 1 to the principal regulations after the word “spouse” there shall be inserted the words “or civil partner”.

10.  In paragraph 12 of Schedule 1 to the principal regulations for the words “a spouse who is living apart, of a former spouse” there shall be substituted the words “a spouse or civil partner who is living apart, of a former spouse or former civil partner”.

Signed by authority of the Lord Chancellor

Bridget Prentice

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State,

Department for Constitutional Affairs

Dated 1st November 2005

We approve

Gillian Merron

Tom Watson

Two of the Lord’s Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury

Dated 9th November 2005

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)

These Regulations amend the Legal Aid (Assessment of Resources) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1981 to insert references to the legal status of civil partners, as created by the provisions of the Civil Partnership Act 2004, to ensure an application for legal aid from any person who is in a civil partnership is determined in a manner consistent with the existing Regulations.

(1)

S.I. 1981/228 (N.I. 8); Article 27 is an interpretation provision and is recited because of the meaning assigned to the words “prescribed” and “regulations”

(2)

S.I. 1982/159

(3)

S.R. 1981 No. 189; to which the most recent relevant amendment was made by S.R. 2004 No. 167