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Access to Justice Act 1999

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part IILegal Services Commission

Replacement of Legal Aid Board by Legal Services Commission

2(1)When section 1 of this Act comes into force—

(a)the functions of the Legal Aid Board, and

(b)the property, rights and liabilities of the Board,

shall by virtue of this paragraph be transferred to the Legal Services Commission.

(2)Sub-paragraph (1)(b) has effect in relation to any property, rights or liabilities to which it applies in spite of any provision (of whatever nature) which would otherwise prevent or restrict their transfer.

3(1)Anything which, immediately before section 1 of this Act comes into force, is in the process of being done by or in relation to the Legal Aid Board may, if it relates to anything transferred by paragraph 2(1), be continued by or in relation to the Legal Services Commission.

(2)Anything done (or having effect as if done) by or in relation to the Legal Aid Board before the time when section 1 of this Act comes into force for the purpose of, or in connection with, anything transferred by paragraph 2(1) shall, so far as is required for continuing its effect after that time, have effect as if done by or in relation to the Legal Services Commission.

(3)Any reference to the Legal Aid Board in any document, including any enactment, constituting or relating to anything transferred by paragraph 2(1) shall, so far as is required for giving effect to that paragraph, be construed as a reference to the Legal Services Commission.

4Where rights and liabilities under a contract of employment are transferred under paragraph 2(1)(b)—

(a)for the purposes of Part XI of the [1996 c. 18.] Employment Rights Act 1996 (redundancy payments etc.), the employee shall not be regarded as having been dismissed by virtue of the transfer, and

(b)for the purposes of that Act, the employee’s period of employment with the Legal Aid Board shall count as a period of employment with the Legal Services Commission and the change of employment shall not break the continuity of the period of employment.

5(1)Any arrangements made by the Legal Aid Board under paragraph 10(2) of Schedule 1 to the [1988 c. 34.] Legal Aid Act 1988 (power to provide for pensions) before the time when section 1 of this Act comes into force shall be treated after that time (so far as may be necessary to preserve their effect) as having been made by the Legal Services Commission under paragraph 10(1) of Schedule 1 to this Act.

(2)For the purposes of any such arrangement as it has effect after section 1 of this Act comes into force, a person’s period of employment with the Legal Aid Board shall count as a period of employment with the Legal Services Commission.

Winding-down of Legal Aid Board

6(1)The Legal Aid Board shall give to the Legal Services Commission all the information, prepare all the documents and do all other things which appear to the Commission appropriate for the purpose of facilitating—

(a)the carrying into effect of the transfers effected by paragraph 2(1), and

(b)the exercise of any functions transferred by paragraph 2(1)(a) or conferred or imposed on the Commission by this Schedule;

and the Legal Aid Board may do anything else which appears to it appropriate for that purpose.

(2)The Legal Aid Board shall, as soon as possible after the time when section 1 of this Act comes into force, prepare a report in accordance with section 5(3) of the [1988 c. 34.] Legal Aid Act 1988—

(a)in relation to the last financial year ending before that time (if it has not done so before then), and

(b)in relation to the period between the end of that financial year and that time (as if that period were a financial year).

(3)The Legal Aid Board shall, as soon as possible after the time when section 1 of this Act comes into force, prepare a statement of accounts in accordance with section 7(1) of the Legal Aid Act 1988—

(a)in relation to the last financial year ending before that time (if it has not done so before then), and

(b)in relation to the period between the end of that financial year and that time (as if that period were a financial year).

(4)Subsections (2) to (7) of section 7 to the Legal Aid Act 1988 shall, after section 1 of this Act comes into force, apply in relation to—

(a)the preparation of a statement under sub-paragraph (3)(a) or (b), and

(b)the auditing of accounts kept under that section for the periods mentioned in sub-paragraph (3)(a) and (b).

(5)From the time when section 1 of this Act comes into force, the Legal Services Commission shall make available to the Legal Aid Board such facilities as it may reasonably require for exercising its functions under this paragraph.

(6)The Lord Chancellor may pay to members of the Legal Aid Board—

(a)any remuneration which he considers appropriate in respect of the performance of their duties as members of the Board after the time when section 1 of this Act comes into force, and

(b)any allowances which he determines should be paid to them in respect of expenses properly incurred by them in the performance of those duties after that time.

(7)The Lord Chancellor may determine that, as from the coming into force of section 1 of this Act, the number of members of the Legal Aid Board shall be reduced to a number which he considers appropriate (and may, accordingly, remove any such members from office).

(8)The Lord Chancellor shall meet the costs of remunerating auditors and any other costs incurred by the Legal Aid Board in connection with the exercise of any of its functions under this paragraph.

Abolition of Legal Aid Board

7(1)The Legal Aid Board shall cease to exist when the Lord Chancellor, being satisfied that its duties under paragraph 6 have been discharged, by order made by statutory instrument so specifies.

(2)Nothing in this Schedule, and no amendment or repeal made by this Act, affects—

(a)the continuance of the Legal Aid Board for the purpose of exercising its functions under paragraph 6, or

(b)the continued operation for that purpose of any enactment relating to the Board.

Further provision for Legal Aid Board and Legal Services Commission

8(1)The Lord Chancellor may by order made by statutory instrument make any consequential, incidental, supplementary or transitional provisions, and any savings, which appear to him to be appropriate in consequence of or otherwise in connection with—

(a)the transfers effected by paragraph 2(1), or

(b)the abolition of the Legal Aid Board.

(2)An order under sub-paragraph (1) may include provisions in the form of amendments or repeals of this Part of this Schedule or any other enactment.

Funding of representation by Lord Chancellor

9(1)Until such date as the Lord Chancellor may by order made by statutory instrument appoint, the duty of the Commission under section 14(1) of this Act shall have effect as a duty of the Commission or the Lord Chancellor, as the Lord Chancellor may specify.

(2)To the extent that that duty has effect as a duty of the Lord Chancellor he shall comply with it by making payments to persons or bodies in respect of the provision of representation by them; and, accordingly, references in this Act and any other enactment to representation (or services) funded by the Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service include representation funded by the Lord Chancellor under this sub-paragraph.

(3)The Lord Chancellor shall by order made by statutory instrument make provision about such payments (including provision for reviews of, or appeals against, determinations required for the purposes of the order); and subsections (2) and (3) of section 25 of this Act shall apply to it (as if it were a remuneration order as defined by subsection (4) of that section).

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