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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Section 17: Qualifying for representation

146.Section 17 makes provision about how the Director or a court must make determinations about whether an individual qualifies for representation for the purposes of criminal proceedings.

147.Subsection (1) requires the Director or a court to determine (whether provisionally or otherwise) whether an individual qualifies for representation by applying the means testing provisions (section 21) and the interests of justice test provided for in subsection (2).

148.Subsection (2) sets out the factors that are to be considered in assessing whether an individual meets the interests of justice. These mirror the existing provision at paragraph 5 of Schedule 3 to the Access to Justice Act 1999. Subsection (3) enables the Lord Chancellor to add to or vary these factors. The Lord Chancellor may also make regulations specifying circumstances in which the interests of justice will be considered to be met (subsection (4)).

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