How a Legal Aid Lawyer Can Help You?

However, it’s quite imperative to get an idea about the legal things, if you, or a loved one, is charged with a crime, for the cogs turned wrong at some unfortunate time.

You are arrested and have been accused of some felony. It all happened so quickly that you didn’t even get time to understand what was going on. Though you have the right to ask for a criminal solicitors and get his advice, you are not entitled any legal aid from their end.

For that matter, you need to qualify the two fold test, which includes the interest of justice in your case, and your financial status. It’s only after you are found eligible for the proceedings, you are considered for any legal aid. However, still, the lawyer can’t help you as such. He would first have to prepare your case, in order to represent you at the court.

Now, the points that make get you the interest of the justice depends on your stakes of being at loss. Like, if you are found at the risk of losing your job, or on the verge of getting your reputation damaged, or suffering from some mental illness or having issue like language and far-off location, you may qualify the first test. On the other hand, in order to meet the eligibility criteria for the second test and thus to hire a legal aid lawyer, you need to disclose your financial status to the court.

You’re likely to be chosen for a free aid, considering your outdoing, or in case your income is found quite less than the minimum level set by the Legal Service commission. Under other conditions, if you’re below 18 years, or receive any of the state’s benefits, you may be provided free of cost legal aid. Now, once after you get Court’s consent for representation order, starts the process for legal aid lawyer.

At the same time, there remain chances that you may lose your case, and can be found guilty for the charges preferred against you. So, if your case in magistrates’ court doesn’t bear any results, the appeal lies to the crown court, and the same process is repeated, in order to entitle you a legal aid lawyer yet again. But, here at the crown court you may need to pay towards the cost of your defense. This cost can be either from a part of your income, or from the capital assets that you own. For that matter, you need to submit the evidence for your assets in court.

Now, if the legal aid lawyer remains successful in proving you innocent and bringing you a release from the charges, your entire amount will be refunded by the court. But, in case you are found guilty or at fault, you would need to pay towards your defense from the capital assets you may have.

Law Jargon Buster Part Two

Following on from the previous jargon buster, here are some more commonly used words in legal cases. It is important that you fully understand the terminology used, and if you ever need further assistance, your barrister will always be on hand to assist you.

Alibi

An alibi is a piece of evidence that proves someone who is accused of a crime was elsewhere when the offence was committed.

Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

This is a civil order made by a court that bans an individual from visiting certain areas at certain times. If an ASBO is breached, the offender can be put in prison for up to five years.

Bail

This is when someone accused of a crime is released while they await trial, usually after a sum of money has been paid.

Court of Appeal

The court of law that hears appeals against both civil and criminal judgements from all other courts including High Court, Crown Court and County Courts

Defendant

A defendant is a person, or other legal entity defending court action, which is being taken against them.

Direct Access

The ability to instruct a barrister directly, without having to use a solicitor. This covers areas such as employment law, family law and housing law.

Embezzlement

This is when someone misuses or thieves someone else’s belongings or money, particularly if the offender has violated trust.

Law Commission

The independent body arranged by parliament to ensure current laws are kept under review and reformed when necessary.

Magistrate

This is a member of the public who voluntarily administers the law in magistrate’s courts. They are trained in court procedures and do not need any official legal qualifications.

Negligence

Failing to take reasonable care of something or someone.

Preliminary Hearing

The first hearing to take place that decides which court the proceedings will take place, and when.

Probation

Probation is what someone is placed on after a period of good behaviour in detention.

Representative

In employment tribunals, this will be the person who is named on the claim form that will be representing throughout the claim.

Settlement

The agreement and resolution between two parties about a legal case before the court case begins.

Suspended Sentence

The delay of an offender’s service sentence after they have been found guilty, usually no sentence is served unless they commit another offence.

Witness Statement

The written document that is given as evidence in court cases, including tribunals.

Employment Legal Advice – FWC Rules No Redundancy Exists if Due Only to Salary Cut

A pay cut rejected by workers does not equate to a valid redundancy, the Fair Work Commission recently ruled.
In Mr Leon Mallard; Mr Steven Bolton; Mr Bernard Stonehouse; Mr Jason Wood v Parabellum International Pty Ltd T/A Parabellum International [2017] FWC 2531 (15 May 2017), the Fair Work Commission ruled that jobs of four workers, all of whom worked in emergency services, were not genuinely rendered rendundant on the basis of a pay cut.
The four emergency service workers were employed by Parabellum, which supplies the services to Chevron. Due to a reduction in contract prices by Chevron, Parabellum faced significant financial challenges and attempted to reduce costs specifically the salaries of the workforce.
Employment Legal Advice
Employment Legal Advice
Employment Legal Advice
In the termination letters, Parabellum informed the workers that their jobs were made redundant, yet previously offered the same job for a reduced salary. Seeing as the workers rejected the job offer with lower pay, their employment was terminated.
The Fair Work Commission reviewed Section 389 of the Fair Work Act, which defined what a genuine redundancy is. Deputy President Bull stated that a genuine redundancy is “not restricted to whether an employee’s job is no longer required”.
Parabellum urged the Commission to take a wide interpretation of the provision, alleging that the “person’s job” includes all contractual arrangements the employer and employee entered into by contract, which includes employee remuneration. Parabellum contended that when the pay in an employee’s job is varied, and the role is no longer required to be performed at the original salary, then the job is no longer required to be performed by anyone, regardless if the duties and responsibilities are the same as those in the original job.
The Fair Work Commission examined relevant case law, specifically the definition of Bray CJ in R v Industrial Commission of South Australia; Ex parte Adelaide Milk Supply Co-Op Ltd (1977) 16 SASR 6, where redundancy was defined as the situation when “the employer no longer desires to have it performed by anyone.” Reference was also made to the definition of the word “job”, and it was noted that many of the definitions focused on the tasks, work, results, of a job, and none of them referenced the importance of the salary as an essential part of the definition of a job.
The “person’s job to be performed” under the Fair Work Act are, per Deputy President Bull, “the functions, duties, and responsibilities associated with the job”. Remuneration then would be “the value placed on performing the job by the employer”, and variations in salaries “does not equate to the employer no longer requiring ‘the job’ to be performed”.
Therefore, a redundant job is one where the functions, duties, and responsibilities of the job are determined by the employer as superfluous to the current needs. However, as the Commission noted, when Parabellum hired others to do the job at the lower pay, and even offered the same job at the lower salary to the four workers, then the jobs were not genuinely redundant.
Lessons for Employees – Seek Proper Employment Legal Advice
Knowing your rights is key to understanding how employment law works for you. Employees should, as in this case, ascertain the nature of the proposed redundancy, and logically, if the same work is required by the employer, then it is not a real redundancy.