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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Section 37: Status of the Director and Lord Chancellor

245.Section 37 makes provision to provide clarity on the status of both the Director and the Lord Chancellor when exercising specific functions.

246.Section 4(1) of the Act requires the Lord Chancellor to designate a civil servant as the Director.

247.Subsection (1) of section 37 ensures that the Director is to carry out the functions of the statutory office on behalf of the Crown and subsection (2) ensures that service as the Director is in the civil service of the State.

248.Subsection (3) provides that the Lord Chancellor is to be treated as a corporation sole for purposes relating to property (and interests in property) under Part 1 of the Act, and for all other purposes relating to the Lord Chancellor’s functions in connection with legal aid and other functions under Part 1. This clarifies the position in relation to the Lord Chancellor’s ability to hold an interest in land for these purposes and so applies to those charges (statutory or otherwise) which transfer from the LSC to the Lord Chancellor pursuant to Schedule 4 to the Act and those statutory charges that will arise pursuant to section 25 of the Act.

249.Subsection (4) confers on the Lord Chancellor a statutory power to authorise persons to execute instruments conveying property and interests in property held by the Lord Chancellor in connection with legal aid or other functions under Part 1.

250.Subsection (5) provides that such an instrument executed by or on behalf of the Lord Chancellor is to be received in evidence and, unless the contrary is proved, to be treated as having been so executed.

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