Stephen Port

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 19th September 2018.

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Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Chair, Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities Committee, Chair, Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria were used in the assessment of legal aid support to families involved in the inquests covering the deaths of the victims of Stephen Port.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) is not aware of having received any applications to date for public funding for representation at an inquest from the families of the victims of Stephen Port.

When assessing such applications in general, the Director of Legal Aid Casework (DLAC) must have regard to the Lord Chancellor’s guidance set out under section 4(3) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offender’s Act (LASPO) 2012. The criteria applied by the Legal Aid Agency are outlined under Section 10 of LASPO. The DLAC must also determine whether an applicant meets the financial eligibility test as provided in the Civil Legal Aid (Financial Resources and Payment for Services) Regulations 2013, or decide whether to waive financial eligibility and/or contribution to costs in whole or in part, as well as satisfy the merits criteria set out in the Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) Regulations 2013.

An application for legal aid may be submitted to the LAA in order for such a determination to be made.

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