Civil/crime news: criminal legal aid for civil contempt clients
Change to legal aid application process in civil contempt committal proceedings.
Providers dealing with civil contempt cases can now apply for criminal legal aid to represent clients for committal proceedings.
Applications are made to the National Courts Team (NCT) in Nottingham. This is to allow clients to be represented in breach or contempt proceedings including the breach of a civil order.
Providers should not apply to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) for an amendment to an existing civil certificate or submit a fresh civil legal aid application for this work. This is because it can only be funded under criminal legal aid.
It is important to note that in order to carry out committal work in civil contempt cases you must be authorised to both undertake criminal legal aid and apply for a representation order.
Why criminal legal aid?
Civil contempt proceedings are seen as criminal for the purposes of legal aid because of the risk of imprisonment for your client.
How the application process works
All applications for criminal legal aid in committal proceedings should be submitted to the NCT in Nottingham.
You need to use the paper CRM14 form and also include a copy of the committal application.
If you do not hold a crime contract then you should apply for an Individual Case Contract (ICC) by writing to the Nottingham NCT – see email address below.
Your email will need to explain why you are applying and how you meet the ICC criteria.
More detail on making an application is available in our guidance on applications in civil contempt cases – see below.
Applications under the previous arrangements
If you follow the previous arrangements your application is likely to be delayed. So you are strongly advised to use the CRM14 form for legal aid in contempt cases and submit this application to NCT.
All claims for payment should be submitted to the crime finance team in Nottingham using the CRM11 form – see below.
The applicable rates of remuneration are set out in the Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013 – see below.
Consultation on civil contempt payments
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) intends to carry out a policy consultation exercise later this year regarding remuneration arrangements in civil contempt cases both at the Family Court and more widely.
Nottingham.NCT@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk – to submit Individual case contract applications
Apply for legal aid for civil contempt cases – for guidance and CM11 form
CRM14: criminal legal aid application form – to download paper form
Published: 16 June 2015
From: Legal Aid Agency