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Legal Aid

Volume 928: debated on Friday 18 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for legal aid were found to be based on an underestimate of the applicant's income in 1976, or the latest available 12-month period; and what percentage this was of the whole.

A court grants legal aid in criminal proceedings in England and Wales if it appears desirable to do so in the interests of justice and if it appears that the means of the accused are such that he requires assistance in meeting his costs. The court may subsequently order the accused to contribute to his costs, and about 30,000 such orders were made in 1975. In 1975 two people were charged with offences under Section 90(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 relating to the provision of false statements of means in connection with applications for criminal legal aid.