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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

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1(1)The relevant authority may make an information request to—

(a)the Secretary of State,

(b)a relevant Northern Ireland Department, or

(c)the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (“the Commissioners”).

(2)An information request may be made under this paragraph only for the purposes of facilitating a determination about an individual’s financial resources for the purposes of —

(a)the Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (S.I. 1981/228 (N.I. 8)), or

(b)the Access to Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 (S.I. 2003/435) (N.I. 10)).

(3)An information request made to the Secretary of State or a relevant Northern Ireland Department under this paragraph may request the disclosure of some or all of the following information—

(a)a relevant individual’s full name and any previous names;

(b)a relevant individual’s address and any previous addresses;

(c)a relevant individual’s date of birth;

(d)a relevant individual’s national insurance number;

(e)a relevant individual’s benefit status at a time specified in the request;

(f)information of a prescribed description.

(4)An information request made to the Commissioners under this paragraph may request the disclosure of some or all of the following information—

(a)whether or not a relevant individual is employed or was employed at a time specified in the request;

(b)the name and address of the employer;

(c)whether or not a relevant individual is carrying on a business, trade or profession or was doing so at a time specified in the request;

(d)the name under which it is or was carried on;

(e)the address of any premises used for the purposes of carrying it on;

(f)a relevant individual’s national insurance number;

(g)a relevant individual’s benefit status at a time specified in the request;

(h)information of a prescribed description.

(5)The information that may be prescribed under sub-paragraphs (3)(f) and (4)(h) includes, in particular, information relating to—

(a)prescribed income of a relevant individual for a prescribed period, and

(b)prescribed capital of a relevant individual.

(6)Information may not be prescribed under sub-paragraph (4)(h) without the Commissioners’ consent.

(7)The Secretary of State, the relevant Northern Ireland Departments and the Commissioners may disclose to the relevant authority information specified in an information request made under this paragraph.

(8)In this paragraph—

  • “benefit status”, in relation to an individual, means whether or not the individual is in receipt of a prescribed benefit or benefits and, if so—

    (a)

    which benefit or benefits the individual is receiving,

    (b)

    whether the individual is entitled to the benefit or benefits alone or jointly,

    (c)

    in prescribed cases, the amount the individual is receiving by way of the benefit (or each of the benefits) (“the benefit amount”), and

    (d)

    in prescribed cases, where the benefit consists of a number of elements, what those elements are and the amount included in respect of each element in calculating the benefit amount;

  • “financial resources”, in relation to an individual, includes an individual’s means, disposable income and disposable capital;

  • “the relevant authority” means—

    (a)

    a prescribed person, or

    (b)

    in relation to circumstances for which no person is prescribed, the chief executive of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission;

  • “a relevant individual”, in relation to an information request under this paragraph for the purposes of a determination about an individual’s financial resources, means—

    (a)

    that individual, and

    (b)

    any other individual whose financial resources are or may be relevant for the purposes of the determination;

  • “relevant Northern Ireland Department” means the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland or the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland.

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