Legal Services Bill

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Hon Simon Power

Legal Services Bill

Government Bill



Explanatory note

1 Title

2 Commencement

Part 1
Preliminary provisions

3 Purpose of Act

4 Interpretation

5 Act binds the Crown

Part 2
Legal aid

Subpart 1When legal aid may be granted

6 Proceedings for which legal aid may be granted: criminal matters

7 Proceedings for which legal aid may be granted: civil matters

8 When legal aid may be granted: criminal matters

9 Prescribed offences

10 When legal aid may be granted: civil matters

11 When legal aid may be granted: civil matters continued

12 Other situations where legal aid refused or limited: civil matters

13 Legal aid not available to insured or indemnified persons

Subpart 2Application and grant

14 Application for grant of legal aid

15 Special provisions relating to minors and mentally disordered persons

16 Decision on application for legal aid

17 Commissioner must notify applicant when legal aid declined

18 Conditions on grant of legal aid

19 Special provisions about conditions on grants to persons involved in proceedings under Domestic Violence Act 1995

20 Interim repayments payable

21 Amount of repayment payable

22 Lead providers

23 Maximum grant

Subpart 3After legal aid is granted

24 Provider in civil proceedings to notify other parties

25 Commissioner to be notified of change in circumstances

26 Commissioner to keep aided person informed

27 Private mediation

28 Application for amendment to grant of legal aid

29 Withdrawal of, or amendment to, grant of legal aid: criminal matters

30 Withdrawal of, or amendment to, grant of legal aid: civil matters

31 Withdrawal of grant

32 Consequences of withdrawing legal aid

Subpart 4How Commissioner may enforce conditions of grant

33 Amount payable by aided person to Commissioner

34 Amounts payable under conditions of grant are debts due to Commissioner

35 Commissioner may adjust rate of payment of debt, etc

36 Charges on proceeds of proceedings

37 Commissioner may exempt property from charge

38 Transfer of charge

39 Enforcement of charge

40 Interest on unpaid legal aid debt

41 Aided person to enforce judgment or out-of-court settlement

42 Commissioner may decide not to recover debt in certain circumstances

43 Commissioner may write off amounts payable

44 Commissioner to refund excess payments

Subpart 5Award of costs in civil proceedings

45 Liability of aided person for costs

46 Costs of successful opponent of aided person

Subpart 6Legal aid grants for Treaty of Waitangi claims

47 Applications in respect of proceedings before Waitangi Tribunal

48 Assessment of financial resources

49 Commissioner to refer application to Waitangi Tribunal

50 Repayment under grant of legal aid

Subpart 7Reconsideration, review, and appeals of legal aid decisions


51 Reconsideration


52 Grounds for review

53 Application for review

54 Powers and duties of chairperson of Tribunal on receipt of application for review

55 Review of decision by Tribunal

56 Determination of review

57 Tribunal may direct Commissioner to reconsider

58 Chairperson may direct publication of Tribunal decisions

Appeals and references on question of law

59 Appeal on question of law

60 Appeals to Court of Appeal and Supreme Court

61 References on questions of law to High Court

Subpart 8Legal Aid Tribunal

62 Legal Aid Tribunal established

63 Functions of Tribunal

64 Appointment of members of Tribunal

65 Chairperson of Tribunal

66 Delegation by chairperson of Tribunal

67 Further provisions that apply to Tribunal in Schedule 3

Part 3
Administration of legal services system

Subpart 1Functions of Secretary for Justice and Legal Services Commissioner

Secretary for Justice

68 Functions of Secretary for Justice

69 Methods of delivery of legal services

Legal Services Commissioner

70 Legal Services Commissioner

71 Functions of Commissioner

72 Commissioner may delegate powers, functions, or duties

73 Powers of delegate

Subpart 2Quality assurance system for providers

Providers of legal services

74 Application of this subpart

75 No person may provide legal aid service or specified legal service unless approved

76 Application for approval to provide legal aid services or specified legal services

77 Approval

78 Selection committees

79 Performance review committee

80 Further provisions relating to committees in Schedule 3

81 Obligations relating to professional conduct

82 Review of decisions of Secretary regarding approvals

83 Judicial review

Review Authority

84 Review Authority established

85 Function of Review Authority

86 Decisions of Review Authority

87 Further provisions in Schedule 3

Quality assurance checks

88 Ministry may carry out quality assurance checks

Examination of claims made by providers

89 Commissioner may examine claims

90 Aided person may request examination of cost of services

91 Secretary may audit providers

92 Compliance with audits

Subpart 3Community law centres

Community law centres

93 Definition of community law centres

94 Secretary may enter into contracts with community law centres

95 Reporting on funding of community law centres

96 Secretary may audit community law centres

Subpart 4Payment for legal aid work, enforcement, and other matters relating to providers

Payment for legal aid work

97 Lead provider to claim for payment

98 Time frame for claiming for payment

99 Secretary to refer claim to Commissioner for decision

100 Secretary must pay approved claims


101 Interim restrictions that may be imposed by Secretary

102 Sanctions that may be imposed by Secretary

103 Cancellation

Further provisions relating to providers

104 Providers must comply with requirements of Act in prescribed manner

105 Providers not to take unauthorised payments

106 Providers to pay legal aid disbursements

107 Providers to protect Commissioner's interests in relation to charges and proceeds of proceedings

Subpart 5Miscellaneous provisions

Disclosure of information

108 Disclosure of information

109 Disclosure of privileged communications under section 92 or 96

110 Commissioner may require financial information


111 Misrepresentation, etc

112 Offence in relation to applications for approval

113 Offences in relation to examination and audit


114 Regulations


115 Service of notices, etc

Effect of rights conferred by this Act

116 Effect of rights conferred by this Act

Part 4
Transitional and savings provisions, amendments to other enactments, and repeals

Subpart 1Transitional arrangements for transfer of Legal Services Agency to Ministry of Justice

117 Legal Services Agency disestablished

118 Public Advisory Committee disestablished

119 Transfer of assets and liabilities of Legal Services Agency to Ministry

120 Employees of Legal Services Agency

121 Terms and conditions of transferred employees

122 Continuity of employment

123 Restriction of compensation for technical redundancy

Matters to be transferred to Commissioner

124 Charges vested in Commissioner

125 References to Legal Services Board and Legal Services Agency in enactments, instruments, and registers to be read as reference to Commissioner

Subpart 2Transition of matters commenced, approvals granted, and funding provided under former Act

Transition of applications for review under former Act

126 Interpretation

127 Review Panel continues until close of final transition day

128 Review Panel disestablished

129 Tribunal must deal with remaining applications

130 Applications under section 54(3) of former Act may be made to Tribunal after final transition day

131 Application of this Act and former Act to determination of remaining applications for review, and applications under section 54(3) of former Act

Legal aid granted and repayments made under former Act

132 Legal aid granted and repayments made under former Act

Legal aid for certain types of legal assistance in respect of Waitangi Tribunal proceedings under former Act

133 Legal aid for certain types of legal assistance in respect of Waitangi Tribunal proceedings

Community law centres

134 Community law centres

Listed providers under former Act

135 Listed providers under former Act

Subpart 3Transition of matters commenced under Legal Services Act 1991

Legal aid granted and repayments made under Legal Services Act 1991

136 Legal aid granted under Legal Services Act 1991

137 Repayments in respect of certain legal aid granted under Legal Services Act 1991

Subpart 4Amendments to other enactments

Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006

138 Amendments to Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006

139 Reference of complaint or matter to Disciplinary Tribunal

140 Notice of determination

141 Laying of charge with Disciplinary Tribunal

142 Obligation to report outcomes and recommendations

143 Order for striking off, cancellation of registration, restoration, or suspension to be filed in High Court

Consequential amendments to other enactments

144 Consequential amendments to other enactments

Subpart 5Repeal and revocation

145 Repeal of Legal Services Act 2000

146 Revocation of Legal Services Regulations 2006

Schedule 1
Definition of income and disposable capital

Schedule 2
Specified enactments

Schedule 3
Further provisions that apply to Legal Aid Tribunal, selection committees, performance review committee, and Review Authority

Schedule 4
Consequential amendments

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows: