The government has announced that amendments to evidence requirements regarding cases of domestic or child abuse will come into force on July 17.
Currently, victims of domestic abuse or child abuse may have to demonstrate that the abuse happened in the previous 24 months. If they overrun this designated timeframe, they run the risk of legal aid being withdrawn and may have to resubmit such evidence in order to retain their legal aid through to their final hearing.
Amendments to the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012 will remove the risk of legal aid being lost in cases of domestic or child abuse because evidence is deemed to be out of date.
The main change is that “relevant convictions for domestic violence or child abuse offences will remain valid evidence for 24 months or until spent – whichever period is longer.”
Additionally, the amendments provide clarification on the language regarding description of evidence of a stay in a domestic violence refuge.
The amendments were announced by the Legal Aid Agency.