Access to Justice Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords
PART I, THE LEGAL SERVICES COMMISSION - continued
The Criminal Defence Service - continued

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Representation.     14. - (1) Schedule 3 (right to representation) has effect.
 
      (2) The Commission shall fund representation-
 
 
    (a) to which an individual has been granted a right in accordance with Schedule 3, and
 
    (b) for the purposes of criminal proceedings or criminal investigations in such other circumstances as the Lord Chancellor may prescribe.
      (3) Subject to the following provisions, the Commission may comply with the duty imposed by subsection (2) by-
 
 
    (a) entering into contracts with persons or bodies for the provision of representation by them,
 
    (b) making payments to persons or bodies in respect of the provision of representation by them,
 
    (c) making grants or loans to persons or bodies to enable them to provide, or facilitate the provision of, representation,
 
    (d) establishing and maintaining bodies to provide, or facilitate the provision of, representation,
 
    (e) making grants or loans to individuals to enable them to obtain representation,
 
    (f) itself providing representation, or
 
    (g) doing anything else which it considers appropriate for funding representation.
      (4) The Commission may fund representation by different means-
 
 
    (a) in different areas in England and Wales, and
 
    (b) in relation to different descriptions of cases.
      (5) An individual who has been granted a right to representation in accordance with Schedule 3 may select any representative or representatives willing to act for him; and, where he does so, the Commission is to comply with the duty imposed by subsection (2) by making payments to the selected representative or representatives.
 
      (6) Regulations may provide that in prescribed circumstances-
 
 
    (a) the right conferred by subsection (5) is not to apply in cases of prescribed descriptions,
 
    (b) that right is not to include a right to select a representative of a prescribed description,
 
    (c) that right is to select only a representative of a prescribed description,
 
    (d) that right is to select only one representative or not more than a prescribed number of representatives, and
 
    (e) that right is not to include a right for an individual to select a representative if another representative has been previously selected by him.
      (7) Where regulations make provision by virtue of subsection (6)(a) they may provide what the Commission is to do instead in order to comply with the duty imposed by subsection (2).
 
Regulations about payments to representatives.     15. - (1) Regulations made with the approval of the Treasury may make provision about the payment by the Commission of the cost of any representation to which an individual has a right and which is provided neither-
 
 
    (a) pursuant to a contract entered into by the Commission, nor
 
    (b) by the Commission itself.
      (2) Such provision may include-
 
 
    (a) provision as to the amount of any remuneration which may be paid, and the costs which may be reimbursed, in respect of such representation, and
 
    (b) provision as to the courts, persons or bodies by whom, and the manner in which, any determinations which may be required for the purposes of the regulations are to be made, reviewed or appealed against.
Terms of provision of funded services.     16. - (1) An individual for whom services are funded by the Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service shall not be required to make any payment in respect of the services except where subsection (2) applies.
 
      (2) Where representation for an individual in respect of criminal proceedings in the Crown Court is funded by the Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service (and the individual is not acquitted), the trial judge may, subject to regulations under subsection (3), make an order requiring him to pay some or all of the cost of the representation.
 
      (3) Regulations may make provision about-
 
 
    (a) the descriptions of individuals against whom an order under subsection (2) may be made,
 
    (b) the circumstances in which such an order may be made and the principles to be applied in deciding whether to make such an order and the amount to be paid,
 
    (c) the determination of the cost of representation for the purposes of the making of such an order,
 
    (d) the furnishing either to the trial judge or (if the trial judge so wishes) to the Commission of information required to enable the trial judge to decide whether to make such an order and (if so) the amount to be paid,
 
    (e) the person or body to which, and manner in which, payments required by such an order must be made, and
 
    (f) the enforcement of such an order (including provision for the imposition of charges in respect of unpaid amounts).
Funding.     17. - (1) The Lord Chancellor shall pay to the Commission such sums as are required to meet the costs of any advice, assistance and representation funded by the Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service.
 
      (2) The Lord Chancellor may-
 
 
    (a) determine the manner in which and times at which the sums referred to in subsection (1) shall be paid to the Commission, and
 
    (b) impose conditions on the payment of the sums.
      (3) In funding services as part of the Criminal Defence Service the Commission shall aim to obtain the best possible value for money.
 
      (4) Any amount received by the Commission pursuant to an order under section 16(2) shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
 
 
Supplementary
Foreign law.     18. - (1) The Commission may not fund as part of the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service services relating to any law other than that of England and Wales.
 
      (2) But the Lord Chancellor may, if it appears to him necessary to do so for the purpose of fulfilling any obligation imposed on the United Kingdom by any international agreement, by directions given by him under section 4 specify that there may be funded as part of the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service (or both) services relating to the application of such other law as may be specified by the directions.
 
Restriction of disclosure of information.     19. - (1) Subject to the following provisions of this section, information which is furnished-
 
 
    (a) to the Commission or any court, tribunal or other person or body on whom functions are imposed or conferred by or under this Part, and
 
    (b) in connection with the case of an individual seeking or receiving services funded by the Commission as part of the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service,
  shall not be disclosed except as permitted by subsection (2).
 
      (2) Such information may be disclosed-
 
 
    (a) for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Commission to discharge any functions imposed or conferred on it by or under this Part,
 
    (b) for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Lord Chancellor to discharge any functions imposed or conferred on him by or under this Part,
 
    (c) for the purpose of enabling or assisting any court, tribunal or other person or body to discharge any functions imposed or conferred on it by or under this Part,
 
    (d) except where regulations otherwise provide, for the purpose of the investigation or prosecution of any offence (or suspected offence) under the law of England and Wales or any other jurisdiction,
 
    (e) in connection with any proceedings relating to the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service, or
 
    (f) for the purpose of facilitating the proper performance by any tribunal of disciplinary functions.
      (3) Subsection (1) does not apply to-
 
 
    (a) information in the form of a summary or collection of information so framed as not to enable information relating to any individual to be ascertained from it,
 
    (b) information about the amount of any grant, loan or other payment made to any person or body by the Commission, or
 
    (c) information which was furnished to a person providing services funded as part of the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service by or on behalf of an individual seeking or receiving such services.
      (4) Subsection (1) does not prevent the disclosure of information for any purpose with the consent of the individual in connection with whose case it was furnished and, where he did not furnish it himself, with that of the person or body who did.
 
      (5) A person who discloses any information in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
 
      (6) Proceedings for an offence under this section shall not be brought without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
 
Misrepresentation etc.     20. - (1) Any person who-
 
 
    (a) intentionally fails to comply with any requirement imposed by virtue of this Part as to the information to be furnished by him, or
 
    (b) in furnishing any information required by virtue of this Part makes any statement or representation which he knows or believes to be false,
  shall be guilty of an offence.
 
      (2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to-
 
 
    (a) a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale, or
 
    (b) imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months,
  or to both.
 
      (3) Proceedings in respect of an offence under subsection (1) may (despite anything in the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980) be brought at any time within the period of six months beginning with the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to justify a prosecution comes to his knowledge.
 
      (4) But subsection (3) does not authorise the commencement of proceedings for an offence at a time more than two years after the date on which the offence was committed.
 
      (5) A county court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any action brought by the Commission to recover loss sustained by reason of-
 
 
    (a) the failure of any person to comply with any requirement imposed by virtue of this Part as to the information to be furnished by him, or
 
    (b) a false statement or false representation made by any person in furnishing any information required by virtue of this Part.
Position of service providers and other parties.     21. - (1) Except as expressly provided by regulations, the fact that services provided for an individual are or could be funded by the Commission as part of the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service shall not affect-
 
 
    (a) the relationship between that individual and the person by whom they are provided or any privilege arising out of that relationship, or
 
    (b) any right which that individual may have to be indemnified in respect of expenses incurred by him by any other person.
      (2) A person who provides services funded by the Commission as part of the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service shall not take any payment in respect of the services apart from that made by way of that funding.
 
      (3) The withdrawal of a right of representation previously granted to an individual shall not affect the right of any person who has provided to him services funded by the Commission as part of the Criminal Defence Service to remuneration for work done before the date of the withdrawal.
 
      (4) Except as expressly provided by regulations, any rights conferred by or by virtue of this Part on an individual for whom services are funded by the Commission as part of the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service in relation to any proceedings shall not affect-
 
 
    (a) the rights or liabilities of other parties to the proceedings, or
 
    (b) the principles on which the discretion of any court or tribunal is normally exercised.
      (5) For the purpose of determining the costs of such an individual in pursuance of an order for costs or an agreement for costs in his favour (other than an order under Part II of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985)-
 
 
    (a) the services shall be treated as they would be if not funded by the Commission as part of the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service, and
 
    (b) his representative shall be treated as having paid the fees of any additional representative instructed by him.
      (6) Regulations may make provision about the procedure of any court or tribunal in relation to services funded by the Commission as part of the Community Legal Service or Criminal Defence Service.
 
Consequential amendments.     22. Schedule 4 (which makes amendments consequential on this Part) has effect.
 
Orders and regulations.     23. - (1) Any power under this Part to make an order or regulations is exercisable by statutory instrument.
 
      (2) Regulations under this Part may make different provision for different purposes.
 
      (3) No order shall be made under section 2, and no regulations shall be made under section 7(6), 11(2)(a), (b) or (c) or 14(6)(a) or paragraph 4 of Schedule 3, unless a draft of the order or regulations has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.
 
      (4) A statutory instrument containing any other order or regulations under this Part shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
Interpretation.     24. In this Part-
 
 
    "the Commission" means the Legal Services Commission,
 
    "the Community Legal Service Fund" has the meaning given by section 6(1),
 
    "criminal investigations" has the meaning given in section 12(2),
 
    "criminal proceedings" has the meaning given in section 12(3),
 
    "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations and "prescribe" shall be construed accordingly,
 
    "regulations" means regulations made by the Lord Chancellor, and
 
    "representation" means representation for the purposes of proceedings and includes the assistance which is usually given by a representative in the steps preliminary or incidental to any proceedings and advice and assistance as to any appeal.
 
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Prepared 3 December 1998