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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Section 13: Advice and assistance for individuals in custody

123.Section 13 makes provision about initial advice and assistance for an individual who is arrested and held in custody at a police station or other premises.

124.The current provision governing police station advice and assistance is at section 13(1)(a) of the Access to Justice Act 1999.

125.Subsection (1) requires initial advice and assistance to be made available to individuals who are arrested and held in custody at a police station or other premises if the Director has determined that the individual qualifies for advice and assistance and has not withdrawn that determination. “Initial advice” and “initial assistance” are defined in subsection (7) as the sort of advice and assistance that an individual might need while in custody. Subsection (8) enables the Lord Chancellor to make regulations providing that certain advice and assistance is not initial advice and assistance for the purposes of this section.

126.In making a determination, subsection (2) places a duty on the Director to have regard to the interests of justice.

127.Subsection (3) provides that any determination under this section must specify the types of advice or assistance to be made available. Subsection (4) provides that the Lord Chancellor may make regulations about determinations and the withdrawal of determinations. Subsections (5) and (6) make further provision about the procedure for determinations under this section.

128.Subsection (5) provides that the regulations may include provision about the form and content of applications and determinations (for example specifying an application form) and about how an application or determination must be made or withdrawn. The regulations may also include provision about time limits, provision about conditions that must be satisfied by an applicant before a determination is made, provision requiring information and documents to be provided, provision about when a determination may or must be withdrawn and provision requiring applicants to be given reasons for the making or withdrawal of a determination.

129.Subsection (6) ensures that circumstances in which a determination may or must be withdrawn can relate to compliance by the individual with requirements imposed on the individual under Part 1 of the Act, for example, to provide information under section 23.

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