Reviewing refusals of legal aid
How do you request a review?
If your application for aid was refused you may ask that your case be referred to the Review Committee for reconsideration. This request for review must be in writing and addressed to the Director of Legal Aid. It must be made within 14 days of the date you were notified of the refusal of aid.
What do you put in the request for review?
The request must set out why you think the decision was incorrect and include any further information that has come to light and is relevant to your application for aid.
If your matter is urgent please let us know.
What happens when you receive my request for review?
Your request for review will go to the grants officer first. The grants officer will consider the request based on any new information you have provided and as a result may reassess their decision and decide to grant aid. If the grants officer decides not to do that, they will send your request and a short statement explaining why aid was refused to the Director.
The Director will then consider your case and determine whether it is capable of review and if so will forward all supporting information to the chair of the Review Committee.
The Chair of the Review Committee will consider whether the request is in the power of the committee and may invite more information from you for further clarification. Upon receipt of all information the committee will meet and review the refusal.
How long does the review process take?
It usually takes three to four weeks from the time a request for review is received to the finalisation of the request by the Review Committee.
You will be notified in writing within fourteen days of the committee meeting of the result of the review.
Please let us know if your matter has exceptional circumstances which require your request to be dealt with urgently. If it is urgent we do our best to give the matter the necessary priority.
More detailed information can be found in:
Review of refusal of legal aid - legislative provisions 76 kb PDF file (3 pages).
This document contains the review provisions and a commentary on the review process.