Freedom of information request: legal aid statutory charge and legal services orders
17 February 2019
Freedom of Information Requests
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
Dear Sir or Madam
Freedom of information request under Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (‘LASPOA’) Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 s 22ZA and in respect of the Legal Aid Agency’s (LAA) statutory charge now under LASPOA s 22
I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Please send me:
Information request – 1
Please tell me the total amount held by the Lord Chancellor charged upon properties under what is now the Lord Chancellor’s statutory charge (now LASPOA s 22) (‘statutory charge capital’) at the date of coming into operation of LASPOA (which I take to be 1 April 2013).
Information request – 2
Please tell me (a) what sums have been added since 1 April 2013 to the statutory charge capital; and (b) of that sum how much has been added for each year in respect of certificates which were granted after the coming into operation of LASPOA (1 April 2013).
Information request – 3
An amendment to Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 was introduced by LASPOA at Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 s 22ZA, to enable spouses in divorce or ancillary relief cases to apply for a legal services order to cover part or all of their legal funding. (a) How many applications have been made under s 22ZA; (b) what sums each year have been awarded by judges and district judges and (c) what has been paid by respondents (mostly, I suspect, husbands) to such applications?
Response to request
I would like the above information to be provided to me as an electronic copy at my above email address.
If this request is too wide or unclear, please contact me by email or telephone. I understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and assist requesters of this.
If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that information should not be treated as confidential if such an agreement has not been signed.
I understand that you are required to respond to my request within 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing or by email that you have received this request.