HC Deb 04 March 1963 vol 673 cc2-3W
30. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Attorney-General in view of the fact that 75,616 people received legal aid for civil proceedings at the taxpayers' cost during 1961–62, against 38,293 and 23,085 for the two previous years, what steps he is taking to ensure that no abuse of this system is taking place; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General

Under the Legal Aid and Advice Act, 1949, it is the responsibility of the National Assistance Board to determine in accordance with the Regulations whether an applicant's means entitle him to legal aid and, if so, what contribution he should make. If it later appears that the applicant has not made full disclosure of his or her financial position or that the applicant's circumstances have changed, the matter can be reviewed and the certificate for legal aid revoked.

It is for the Law Society's legal aid committees to decide whether or not the case is one which should be brought or defended. The statistics show that a high proportion of legally aided litigants are successful.

My noble Friend the Lord Chancellor is considering whether any further steps can be taken to prevent abuse.