Search Legislation

Access to Justice Act 1999


Community Legal Service

23.The Legal Services Commission will have two main duties in respect of the Community Legal Service (CLS).

  • It will manage a Community Legal Service fund, which will replace legal aid in civil and family cases. The CLS fund will be used to secure the provision of appropriate legal services, within the resources made available to it and according to priorities. A Funding Code, drawn up by the Commission and approved by the Lord Chancellor, will set out the criteria for deciding whether to fund individual cases.

The Legal Aid Board published a draft Funding Code for consultation in January 1999.  The closing date for comments was 30 April 1999.  Copies of the draft Code can be obtained from the Legal Aid Board, 85 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8AA.

  • The Commission will also take the lead in developing the wider Community Legal Service. It will co-operate with local funders and others to develop local, regional and national plans to match the delivery of legal services to identified needs and priorities.

The Lord Chancellor’s Department published a consultation paper about the Community Legal Service in May 1999.  Copies can be obtained by phoning 0171 210 0733/1325.  The closing date for comments is 30 July 1999.

24.The development of the CLS depends on the formation of Community Legal Service Partnerships (CLSPs) in each local authority area. These do not require specific provisions in the Act. Each CLSP will provide a forum for the local authority, the Legal Services Commission, and others, jointly to plan and co-ordinate funding of local advice and other legal services, ensuring that delivery of these services better matches local needs.

25.Overall, the creation of the Community Legal Service is intended to:

  • make best use of all the resources available for funding legal services, by facilitating a co-ordinated approach to planning;

  • improve value for money through contracting and the development of quality assurance systems;

  • establish a flexible system for allocating central Government funding in a transparent way within a controlled budget, so as to provide legal services where they are judged to be most needed; and

  • ensure that the scheme is capable of adapting to meet changing priorities and opportunities.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources