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Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

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61 Legal aid for youth conferencesN.I.

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (S.I. 1981/228 (N.I. 8)) has effect subject to the following amendments.

(2)After Article 28 insert—

28A Free legal aid for diversionary youth conferences

(1)Where a diversionary youth conference has been, or is to be, convened with respect to a child, he may make an application for free legal aid to a magistrates’ court.

(2)An application under paragraph (1) shall be made—

(a)by a written statement in the prescribed form addressed to the clerk of petty sessions for a magistrates’ court; or

(b)if an application under sub-paragraph (a) is refused, in person to a magistrates’ court.

(3)If, on an application made under paragraph (1), it appears to the court that—

(a)the means of the child are insufficient to enable him to obtain legal aid; and

(b)it is desirable in the interests of justice that he should have free legal aid in preparing for and participating in the diversionary youth conference,

the court may grant in respect of him a criminal aid certificate.

(4)A person in respect of whom a criminal aid certificate has been granted under this Article shall be entitled to have—

(a)a solicitor; and

(b)subject to paragraph (5), counsel,

assigned to him for that purpose in such manner as may be prescribed by rules made under Article 36.

(5)Free legal aid given for the purposes of any diversionary youth conference shall not include representation by counsel except where—

(a)the offence with respect to which the diversionary youth conference is convened is an indictable offence; and

(b)the court is of the opinion that, because of circumstances which make the case unusually grave or difficult, representation by both solicitor and counsel would be desirable.

(3)After Article 35 insert—

35A Court-ordered youth conferences

(1)In this Part references to—

(a)the preparation and conduct of a person’s defence before a court or at a trial;

(b)the preparation and conduct of an appeal; and

(c)resisting an appeal,

include preparation for and participation in any court-ordered youth conference (but not any diversionary youth conference).

(2)In Article 29, as it applies by virtue of paragraph (5) of that Article, references to free legal aid to which a person appearing or brought before the Crown Court to be dealt with is entitled include free legal aid in the preparation for and participation in any court-ordered youth conference (but not any diversionary youth conference).

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