Legal aid

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Financial assistance that may be available to those wishing to bring court proceedings, but unable to afford to do so. In England the legal aid system for civil cases was administered until recently by the Legal Aid Board, but individual entitlement was granted by one of 12 regional Legal Aid Committees. For criminal cases the scheme was administered by the courts. More recently, the Access to justice act (1999) completely revised the adminisration and funding of Legal Aid. It established the Community Legal Service and the Criminal Defence Service (articles on which will be forthcoming when I get chance to write them!), and expanded the scope of Conditional fee arrangements.