Legal aid defence counsel
§ 51a Administrative Penal Act 1991
- If the defendant is not in a position to contribute to his defence costs without reducing his income such that he and any family members for whose subsistence he is responsible fall below the minimum required for a simple lifestyle, the Independent Administrative Tribunal may rule, upon application from the accused, that defence counsel shall be appointed for him/her at no cost to the defendant if and in so far as this is deemed necessary in the interests of administrative law, and particularly in the interests of an adequate defence.
- Application for the appointment of defence counsel can be made verbally or in writing. It must be made in the period between the issuing of the ruling and the submission of the appeal to the authority, once the appeal has been submitted to the Independent Administrative Tribunal. If the application is made within the deadline for appeal, then it is deemed to have been made in due time. The application must specifically state for which criminal case the appointment of defence counsel is being requested.
- A single member of the Independent Administrative Tribunal shall rule on the application. In the event that the Independent Administrative Tribunal decides to appoint defence counsel, this must be reported to the board of the appropriate bar association for the area in which the Independent Administrative Tribunal is located, so that the board can appoint a attorney to act as defence counsel. The board should, when possible, and in agreement with the designated attorney, take account of the defendant's wishes in respect of the choice of defence counsel.
- The appointment of defence counsel shall expire if another authorised representative intervenes.
- In private prosecutions or prosecutions under provincial tax legislation, paras. 1 to 4 shall apply on the understanding that it is still possible to apply for defence counsel to be appointed if the decision is not reached within the allocated period of time. The application for defence counsel can be made at the earliest at the time of application for transfer of jurisdiction and must be made to the Independent Administrative Tribunal.