In line with the Courts Service commitment to ongoing and continuous improvements in how we deliver our services to court users, the current cumbersome process of having to apply separately in each individual county to be placed on the Legal Aid Panel will be replaced later this year with a new process which will allow solicitors apply once for all the counties whose panels they wish to be placed on.
As of November this year, offices will no longer have to set up and maintain the legal aid panels for their county. Solicitors will be able to apply to be placed on panels in any county using a single form which will be processed by the centralised office in Castlebar. The centralised office will generate the legal aid panels for all counties and will provide regular updates to the County Registrar in each county. The updated panels will be forwarded to Department of Justice to allow for payments to be processed.
This project is another example of ideas highlighted by staff through our innovation pathway and will ultimately remove some work out of Court offices while making it easier for solicitors to register.
Any queries in relation to the panels from that date should be directed to the new email address: email@example.com while queries in relation legal certificates and appearances will continue to be dealt with by the local Court office dealing with a particular case. Queries in relation to payments will continue to be a matter for the National Shared Services Office in Killarney.