The purpose of the legal aid scheme is to enable a person to obatin a reasonable level of financial assistance to secure such legal services as may be necessary or appropriate in all the circumstances.


The legal aid scheme is composed of criminal legal aid and civil legal aid.

What is Legal Aid?

Legal Aid is public funding that provides either full or part payment (depending on an individuals income and circumstances) to legal practitioners who are representing people either during the investigation of an offence or throughout legal proceedings in the Falkland Islands.  It is set out in the Legal Aid Ordinance 2020 and Legal Aid Regulations 2020.

Not all cases attract legal aid and the Legal Aid Ordinance and Regulations detail the test that is applied when considering whether the grant of legal aid is merited.

Dependant upon someone's financial circumstances, legal aid may be granted with a requirement that a percentage of the overall cost of representation and/or a lump sum contribution amount is paid by the represented person. All grants of Legal Aid for representation are given a financial limit and detail what they are granted for.

Criminal Advice and Assistance is also known as 'police station advice'.

If you are under the age of 18 years, advice and assistance is available to you whether or not the offence is imprisonable or not.

If you are over the age of 18 years, you are able to access advice and assistance if:

a) you are a witness, suspect or person of interest in criminal proceedings for or in connection with an offence punishable by imprisonment; or

b) you attend voluntarily at, or are taken in the charge of a police officer to, a police station for questioning under cause by a police officer for or in connection with an offence punishable by imprisonment; or

c) you are or may be detained in police custody whether or not you are arrested for an offence punishable by imprisonment.

Civil advice and assistance legal aid is available to a person who meets the financial eligibility criteria for any civil matter except:

(a)   a conveyance of property;

(b)   a deed or other document dealing with a change of name;

(c)   defamation;

(d)   an application for planning permission under the Planning Ordinance 1991;

(e)   an application for a building permit under the Building Regulations 1999;

(f)   administration or winding up of a deceased person’s estate; or

(g)   representation in any proceedings.