According to the Administration of Justice Act, s. 353 and s. 354, one of the conditions for legal aid is that the applicant meets certain financial conditions.
The monetary limit determining whether a person meets the financial requirements for legal aid is found in s. 1 (3) of Executive Order no. 1481 of 30. November 2022 for the Faroe Islands on Legal Aid. One of the requirements for legal aid, it states, is that the applicant has an income of DKK 358,000 or less. If the applicant is in a cohabitative relationship, the couple’s total source of income must be DKK 455,000 or less.
Note that the limit is raised by DKK 62,000 for each child under the age of 18, including stepchildren and foster children, who either live with the applicant or which support is mainly provided by him or her.
The amounts per 1 January 2023 are as follows:
- Single applicants: DKK 358,000
- Married or cohabiting applicants: DKK 455,000
- For each child the amount is increased by DKK 62,000
When calculating income, the applicant’s and possibly his or her spouse’s / cohabitor’s tax returns from the year before last are used. For example, if legal aid is applied for in 2023, the tax return from 2021 should be included. If the application is sent in December, the tax return from the previous year is also to be included.
If the applicant’s or his or her spouse’s/cohabitor’s current income varies significantly from the tax return from the year before last, further documentation on current income is to be included.
To calculate the income, the sum of A-income, B-income and capital gains less possible deductibles (cf. the Acts of the Faroese Parliament on municipal and state tax and on taxation of capital gain respectively) is used.
Legal aid is not granted if the litigation costs are deemed to be insignificant compared to the applicant’s income. When determining if this is the case, issues such as the nature of the case as well as if there are several plaintiffs or interested parties that can share the costs are considered.