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Terms of reference

Aim

The aim of the Legal Aid Review is to develop policy options for the sustainable provision of Legal Aid in the Isle of Man, which:

  • maintain or improve access to justice
  • support the delivery of quality services
  • provide value for money in the use of public funds

Objectives

In order to achieve the aim of the Review, a number of objectives have been identified. These objectives will be met through research, stakeholder engagement and public consultation:

  • examine the model of Legal Aid provision in the Island
  • explore the models of Legal Aid provision in comparator jurisdictions
  • identify which aspects of Legal Aid provision in the Island are considered to work well and should be continued
  • identify which aspects of Legal Aid provision in the Island are considered not to work well and could benefit from improvement or change
  • explore the feasibility of alternative approaches to Legal Aid provision in the Island

Governance

The Legal Aid Review is a project established and sponsored by the Securing Added Value and Efficiencies (SAVE) Sub-Committee of the Council of Ministers.

The Review is led by HM Attorney General. This arrangement ensures that the Review has the highest level of legal oversight.

HM Attorney General is supported at officer level by a dedicated Project Manager within the Attorney General's Chambers, whose limited term appointment has been created for the purpose of managing the undertaking of the Review.

Scope

The Review will consider all forms of Legal Aid in the Isle of Man which are:

  • Criminal Legal Aid
  • Civil Legal Aid (Family & Non-Family)

In addition, by request of HM Attorney General, the Review will also consider the following two issues which have been raised with him as a matter of concern:

  • The inability of persons whose assets have been restrained under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 to obtain legal advice
  • The representation of a child in family proceedings if it appears to HM Attorney General that a child is not, but should be, represented in those proceedings, in accordance with s96 of the Children and Young Persons Act 2001

Policy

The Review will support and help inform the policy-making process but will not determine policy. Legal Aid policy remains a matter for the Legal Aid Committee in accordance with s23(6)(a) of the Legal Aid Act 1986.

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