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Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

Legal Aid

Section 76: Exceptional legal aid

153.This section adds a new Article to the 1981 Order which gives the Lord Chancellor the power to direct that legal aid is to be available in proceedings for which legal aid is not otherwise available under that Order or for which assistance by way of representation may not be approved under Article 5 of the Order. It thus provides a power to ensure that legal aid is available in exceptional cases which would otherwise not be covered by the general provisions of the 1981 Order.

Section 77: Proceedings before coroner

154.This section amends Schedule 1 to the 1981 Order in so far as it relates to the provision of legal aid for proceedings before a coroner. At present, legal aid is not available under the 1981 Order for proceedings before a coroner. Schedule 1 to the 1981 Order lists the proceedings for which civil legal aid is available. The reference in that Schedule to proceedings before a coroner has not been brought into force: this section deletes that reference. The new power to grant exceptional legal aid (see section 76) will extend to proceedings before a coroner.

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