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Child Litigants

Volume 301: debated on Friday 21 November 1997

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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment his Department has made of the rights of child litigants in personal injury cases where the parents or a potential next friend cannot afford to seek initial legal advice in order to prepare a claim in respect of the injury; and if he will make a statement. [16350]

No such assessment has been made. Under the current legal aid scheme, a parent or guardian may apply on behalf of a person under the age of 16 for Legal Advice and Assistance (Green Form scheme) on any matter of English law. The Green Form scheme provides for up to two hours help from a solicitor covering advice, writing letters and, where appropriate, obtaining counsel's opinion. For eligibility purposes, a child's means are assessed separately from their parents where it appears just and equitable to do so.