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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Section 2: Arrangements

64.Section 2 makes provision about the arrangements the Lord Chancellor may enter into in order to fulfil the Lord Chancellor’s duty in section 1 to secure the availability of legal aid and for the purposes of carrying out the Lord Chancellor’s other functions under this Part.

65.As a Minister of the Crown, the Lord Chancellor has power, for example, to enter into contracts relating to the Lord Chancellor’s functions. Subsection (1) ensures the Lord Chancellor may make any other arrangements appropriate for fulfilling the Lord Chancellor’s functions in relation to legal aid and subsection (2) ensures that arrangements the Lord Chancellor may enter into include arrangements of the type referred to in subsection (2), such as establishing a body to provide services.

66.Subsection (3) allows the Lord Chancellor to make regulations about remuneration for those providing legal aid services. Section 42(1) provides that remuneration includes disbursements. This would include, for example, power to set the level of fees for lawyers and experts who are providing such services. Where such fee levels are set in regulations, or in other arrangements (such as contracts) made by the Lord Chancellor in relation to legal aid, subsection (4) provides that if the Lord Chancellor makes arrangements for a court, tribunal or other person to assess such remuneration, the court, tribunal or other person must apply the remuneration levels set by the Lord Chancellor.

67.Subsection (5) allows the Lord Chancellor to make different arrangements for the provision of legal aid in relation to different areas in England and Wales, different types of case and different classes of person. This provides flexibility including, where appropriate, to pilot arrangements.

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