Legal Aid Act
Further Information for Applicants Appealing a Decision
Persons who want to appeal a decision made concerning their Legal Aid Application or Certificate are directed to the following sections of the Legal Aid Act and Regulations:
Legal Aid Act
Application for legal aid
17 (1) An application for legal aid shall be made in the manner and form determined by the Commission to
- (a) the appropriate legal aid official in the area in which the applicant resides at the time the application is made or in which the matter or proceeding for which legal aid is required arises or in which the legal services required are to be performed; or
- (b) the Chief Executive Officer.
17 (2) An application for legal aid shall set forth
- (a) the financial condition of the applicant;
- (b) the basis of the applicant’s claim and all the informationd required by the Commission; and
- (c) any additional information required by the Commission.
17 (3) Every applicant or recipient of legal aid shall notify without delay the Chief Executive Officer or the lawyer in charge of the applicant’s or recipient’s case of any change in the applicant’s or recipient’s condition making inaccurate any information supplied by the applicant or recipient to obtain legal aid. R.S., c. 252, s. 17; 2020, c. 15, s. 13.
Refusal or suspension of legal aid
19 Legal aid may be refused, suspended or withdrawn, as the case may be, or a certificate cancelled with regard to any person otherwise eligible when that person, without sufficient reason,
- (a) refuses to provide the information or documents required to study the perosn’s application;
- (b) refuses to provide the information required under this Act and by the regulations;
- (c) refuses to exercise the person’s legal rights and remedies;
- (d) refuses to co-operate with the laweyr rendering professional services for the person in the manner that is normal and customary between a lawyer and a client;
- (e) makes a false statement or conceals information in applying for legal aid;
- (f) is charged for an offence the same as or similar to one for which the person has been convicted previously;
- (g) is receiving or has received an unreasonable total amount of legal aid; or
- (h) is not ordinarily resident in one of the provinces of Canada. R.S., c. 252, s. 19; 2020, c. 15, s. 15.
Appeal to Commission
25 An applicant or client, as the case may be, may appeal to the Commission where
- (a) the applicant or client is refused a grant of legal aid;
- (b) the applicant or client is refused a legal aid certificate;
- (c) the applicant or client is refused an amendment to the applicant’s or client’s legal aid certificate;
- (d) contributions are required by the applicant as a condition of the granting of legal aid or the issuing of a certificate;
- (e) legal aid is suspended or withdrawn; or
- (f) the legal aid certificate is canceled or amended. R.S., c. 252, s. 25; 2020, c.15, s. 22; revision corrected
1 (1) Subject to the Act, an applicant is eligible to receive civil legal aid and criminal legal aid:
- (a) when an applicant qualifies for benefits under the Provincial Social Assistance Act, Part II, or benefits under the Family Benefits Act [replaced by Employment Support and Income Assistance Act]; or
- (b) when the obtaining of legal services outside of the legal aid plan would reduce the income of an applicant to a point whereby the applicant would qualify for benefits as per clause 1(1)(a).
(2) A client who is eligible pursuant to clause (1)(b) may be required by the Commission to make a contribution towards the payment of the costs of the legal services rendered on the applicant’s behalf.
(3) An applicant shall not be required to dispose of his principal place of resident or assets necessary to maintain his livelihood.
4 Applications for Legal Aid shall be accepted or rejected by a solicitor employed by the Commission or the Executive Director.
Appeals to the Commission
5 Where an applicant or client wishes to appeal to the Commission pursuant to Section 25 of the Act concerning refusal, suspension or withdrawal of legal aid or concerning cancellation or amendment of a certificate of legal aid, or concerning required contributions toward the cost of legal aid, the applicant or client shall submit to the Commission a written request for a review.
6 When the Commission receives a written request for a review, the solicitor or Executive Director who made the decision to be reviewed shall forthwith submit a written report to the Commission giving reasons for his action.
7 The Commission shall consider the report of the solicitor or the Executive Director and, upon the request of the applicant or client, the Commission shall hear the applicant or client in person regarding the review.