The old legal aid scheme had the Funding Code, which practitioners would use to check the availability of civil legal aid, together with the applicable merits tests and guidance. Once the LASPO scheme starts, the Funding Code will go. In its place will be regulations and guidance.
We have already had the Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) Regulations 2013 (which replace the Funding Code Criteria) and the Civil Legal Aid (Procedures) Regulations 2012, which replace the Funding Code Procedures – links to both on our LASPO Resources page – and now the LSC has published the Lord Chancellor’s Guidance, which replaces the Funding Code Guidance.
It is in three parts – general guidance for in-scope cases, guidance for exceptional funding for inquests, and guidance for exceptional funding for out of scope (non-inquest) cases.
The key document for civil legal aid practitioners is the general guidance. Chapters 1-8 deal with matters common to all cases, chapter 9 with mental health, chapter 10 with family, chapter 11 with human rights issues and chapter 12 with housing disrepair.