Discharge of legal aid

The discharge of legal aid is stipulated in s. 359 of the Administration of Justice Act.

The discharge results in the payment of court fees as well as exemption from paying one’s own lawyer’s fees. The court determines the lawyer’s fees, and the court also appoints the lawyer. If the recipient of legal aid wants to be assigned a particular lawyer, the courts will usually meet this request.

Usually, it is the party that loses a case that pays the legal costs, including costs incurred by the other party, but if the losing party receives legal aid, the costs are paid by the Treasury.

Furthermore, legal aid entails that the Treasury pays all necessary costs connected to processing and gaining information about the case, e.g. expenses related to witnesses and experts’ reports.

The court may, however, impose on a party that receives legal aid to wholly or partly compensate the expenses incurred by the legal aid paid by the Treasury to the extent that these expenses cannot be claimed from the opposing party, when said party’s circumstances, including how these might be after the verdict of the case, call for it, cf. the Administration of Justice Act, s. 360 (2).

The discharge of legal aid entails the whole case in the related court as well as the enforcement of the verdict.

The discharge of legal aid also entails processing the case in higher courts (2. and 3. instance) if the opposing party has appealed the case to a higher court, and if the claim of the party that receives legal aid has been fully or partly upheld in the lower court.

The discharge of legal aid does not cease if one of the parties dies.