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Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021

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Eligibility of victims for civil legal aid
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

28.—(1) In the Civil Legal Services (Financial) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015, in regulation 10 (waiver of eligibility limits in proceedings relating to domestic violence or forced marriage)—

(a)after paragraph (1) insert—

(1A) This regulation applies to an application by a client for the funding of representation in proceedings for an order that is an Article 8 order within the meaning of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 if—

(a)the client is the respondent in the proceedings, and

(b)the Director is satisfied that—

(i)the client is or appears to be the victim of abusive behaviour perpetrated or apparently perpetrated by the applicant seeking the order, and

(ii)the applicant seeking the order is someone to whom the client is personally connected.,

(b)after paragraph (4) insert—

(5) The following apply for the purposes of paragraph (1A) as they apply for the purposes of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021 (to give meanings to certain expressions)—

(a)section 2 (as read with section 3(2)) of that Act,

(b)sections 4 and 5 of that Act..

(2) Guidance under section 3 of the Legal Aid and Coroners’ Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 must describe the basis, particularly as regards applicable information about the commission or alleged commission of an offence involving domestic abuse, on which the Director may be satisfied as mentioned in regulation 10(1A) of the Civil Legal Services (Financial) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.

(3) An offence involving domestic abuse is—

(a)an offence under section 1, or

(b)an offence of any kind that is aggravated as provided for in section 15.

(4) The Director is as defined in the Civil Legal Services (Financial) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.

(5) This section is without prejudice to—

(a)any power to make regulations under the Access to Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2003,

(b)the power to give guidance under section 3 of the Legal Aid and Coroners’ Courts Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.

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