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Criminal Defence Service (Advice and Assistance) Act 2001

Widening the classes of individual in respect of whom the Commission may fund advice and assistance

21.The amendment of section 13(1) by the Act also widens the Commission’s power to fund advice and assistance for other individuals who may otherwise have been outside the scope of section 13(1).

22.As originally enacted, section 13(1) provided the Commission with power to fund individuals who are held in custody, and individuals who are not held in custody but who are currently involved in criminal investigations.

23.The duty to fund advice and assistance as originally enacted appeared narrower than the duty under section 12 to secure that individuals involved in criminal investigations or criminal proceedings have access to such advice, assistance and representation as the interests of justice require.

24.On a literal reading section 13(1) as originally enacted was more restrictive because it focused only on criminal investigations and not on criminal proceedings as set out in section 12(2) – including those proceedings which the Lord Chancellor may prescribe by regulations under section 12 (2) (g). The Act allows certain quasi-criminal proceedings (for example, proceedings for anti-social behaviour orders) will be prescribed under section 12(2) (g). It was always intended that advice and assistance would be capable of funding individuals who are, may be or have been involved in such proceedings.

25.The second effect of the Act is therefore to amend section 13(1) to widen the power to fund individuals who may not have been within the scope of the section as originally enacted.

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