News story

Civil news: change to domestic and child abuse evidence requirements

Starting 17 July 2015 some evidence need not be re-examined before a final hearing if a certificate has already been granted earlier in the legal process.

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Providers will no longer need to resubmit evidence of domestic or child abuse for legal aid to continue at a final hearing in the same case.

The change comes into force on 17 July 2015. It means victims of domestic violence and child abuse can now be more confident about the support they will receive from start to finish in a given case.

This amendment applies to clients who already have a certificate for family help higher cases.

What is changing?

An amendment to the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012 will take away the risk of legal aid being withdrawn because the individual’s evidence is considered to be out of date.

The current regulations sometimes require victims of domestic and child abuse to provide evidence that the abuse has taken place within the past 24 months.

This is necessary to qualify for legal aid and it can be withdrawn if the evidence is considered out of time when the case reaches a final hearing.

What do amended regulations say?

The amendments:

  • mean relevant convictions for domestic violence or child abuse offences will remain valid evidence for 24 months or until spent – whichever period is longer
  • clarify the language about what is meant when describing evidence of a stay in a domestic violence refuge

Further information

Amendments to Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012

Published 13 July 2015