§ Mr. Burnett
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department on how many occasions since May 1997 his Department has(a) authorised and (b) refused requests for funding in exceptional individual cases, under section 6(8)(b) of the Access to Justice Act 1999, for representation before (i) a tribunal, (ii) an inquest and (iii) a public inquiry. [R] 
§ Mr. Lock
Before 1 April 2000, the Lord Chancellor had the power to direct the Legal Aid Board to grant legal aid in exceptional individual cases, under section 4 of the Legal Aid Act 1988. Since 1 April, when the Access to Justice Act came into force, he may direct or authorise the Commission, under section 6(8)(a) of the Act, to fund cases in those circumstances he chooses to specify. He may also authorise funding in exceptional individual cases under section 6(8)(b) of the Act, but only where the Legal Services Commission asks him to do so. In March, the Lord Chancellor issued detailed directions setting out the circumstances in which he would expect the Commission to request his authorisation. The numbers of directions and authorisations the Lord Chancellor has given, and of refusals by him and the Commission, are shown in the table.
Directed or authorised Refused 1988 Act 1999 Act 1988 Act 1999 Act Tribunals 0 1 2 0 Inquests 2 6 0 1 Public inquiries 0 0 0 1