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Crime news: avoiding Interests of Justice application refusals

How to avoid a refusal for not meeting the criteria of the Interests of Justice test.

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We’ve prepared some tips to help your crime application to pass the Interest of Justice (IOJ) test.

Using these tips will give you a better chance of ensuring that your application is not among the 5% that are refused.

Many of these refusals could have been avoided by providing more or different information with the application.

Handy tips:

  1. Custody risk – explain why you believe custody is likely, or why it is reasonable to believe the court will consider custody, quoting relevant guidelines if applicable.
  2. Previous convictions – supply information of convictions that are recent and relevant to the application, including dates. A copy of the client’s antecedence could be attached if available.
  3. Any order in place – provide information about any Orders that were in place at the time of the alleged offences.
  4. Breach of any Order – clarify if this is the first breach of an Order, or the number of times the order has been breached.
  5. Aggravating factors – include any factors that you believe would aggravate the offence and would like to be taken into consideration.
  6. Indication of plea – if your client is pleading not guilty and a trial will take place, give details, an indication as to whether witnesses will need to be traced, points of law that will need to be considered and why.

Further information

Help with filling in the application form can be found here:

Work out who qualifies for legal aid – to download ‘LAA guidance on the consideration of defence representation order applications’

Published 24 March 2016