§ 10 Clause 9, page 7, line 14, leave out ("requiring the furnishing of information or imposing other") and insert ("imposing")
§ Lord Falconer of Thoroton
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their amendment No. 10. This is a minor drafting amendment to Clause 9 which deals with the code for determining applications for funding from the community legal service fund.
Clause 9(5)(b) currently states that the code may include provision requiring applicants for funding to furnish information or impose other conditions. The amendment changes the clause to refer simply to conditions without the specific reference to "information." It is, of course, still the intention that the code will include conditions about furnishing information. However, that is so clearly a requirement for any form of application that it goes without saying.
The main reason for Amendment No. 10 is to remove some superfluous words. The change may also serve to avoid any implication that the clause permits only conditions of a similar nature to conditions about furnishing information—that is to say, conditions relating to the application process. However, the intention is that the code should be able to set prior conditions of a more substantive nature; for example, conditions requiring the applicant to take some other step to resolve his or her problem before seeking funding under the scheme.
In particular, we intend to replicate in the code the requirement currently set out in Section 15(3F) of the Legal Aid Act 1988 to attend a meeting with a mediator before seeking legal representation in private law family proceedings. It may become appropriate in future to establish analogous conditions about other types of case or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
On the basis of that explanation, I commend Amendment No. 10 to the House.
§ Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 10.—(Lord Falconer of Thoroton.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.