LASA 2020 Rules and Policies
Click here to access a list of terms used on the LASA 2020 website and their definitions.
In accordance with the Legal Aid Services Act, 2020 (LASA 2020), Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) developed Legal Aid Services Rules (Rules). These Rules are approved by LAO’s Board of Directors and now govern the administration of legal aid services in Ontario. They have enabled LAO to modernize and streamline its operational structure, increasing efficiency, and continually improving its service.
All provisions of Amending Rules are consolidated into the Consolidated Rules, whether or not they are in force. Provisions that are not yet in force appear as grey-shaded text.
From time to time, LAO’s Board of Directors will amend the Rules in order to ensure that LAO is being responsive to changes in its operational needs and to ensure the ongoing delivery of high-quality and efficient legal aid services. The amending rules are accessible here:
Point-in-time versions of the Rules are previous versions of the Rules, which are being kept for reference and are accessible here.
- Legal Aid Services Rules (In force from 2021-10-18 to 2022-08-09)
All board resolutions relating to the creation of or amendment of the Rules:
- Board Resolution for Approval of Proposed Amendments to the Rules (Aug. 3, 2022)
- Board Resolution for Approval of Proposed Rules (July 28, 2021)
LASA 2020 Policies
Supporting the Rules are Policies that provide direction, limits, and guidance for how the Rules are to be applied. These Policies are listed and accessible below. They have been approved by LAO’s Board of Directors. If LAO is going to propose changes to these Policies in the future, it will do so following the process set out in the Legal Aid Ontario Public Consultation Policy made under section 33 of LASA 2020.
Policies that direct how roster members accept and manage a certificate through its lifespan.
- Retroactive certificate issuance
- Change of lawyer
- Certificate reinstatement and extension
- Certificate acknowledgement
- Extension of unacknowledged certificate
Policies that govern financial eligibility and other requirements for receiving legal aid services.
- Annual income period and calculation
- Eligibility for child protection law services
- Eligibility for mental health law services
- Reviews of eligibility decisions
- Requirement to enter into a contribution agreement
- Eligibility for criminal law services
- Duty counsel services financial eligibility
- Dependent child
- Determination of amount of contribution agreement
- Eligibility for appellate matters – prerogative relief applications
- Eligibility for family law services
- Financial eligibility in high-risk cases
- Eligibility for immigration and refugee law services
- Medical expense reduction to income
- Test case program
- Person responsible
- Eligibility for prison law services
- Financial reassessment
- Modification or refusal of services for uncooperative or disruptive conduct
- Concurrent proceedings
Entity Service Providers
Policies that standardize and control how LAO engages and works with service providers that are entities, e.g., community legal clinics, Indigenous legal services organizations, student legal services organizations.
- Transitional entity initial risk level determination
- Requests for additional funds
- Financial eligibility testing for entity services provided by community legal clinics and student legal services organizations
Recovery of Cost
Policies for LAO’s recovery of expenses of providing legal aid services
- Amount to be recovered by LAO
- Responsibility for recovering recoverable amount
- Recovering court costs
- Recovering amounts under Section 13 of the Act
- Orders and settlements in respect of court costs
- Orders for court costs in relation to support
- Waiver of collection rights
Policies that influence how LAO manages its roster of service providers.
Policies guiding how LAO will pay service providers for providing services under a certificate or for duty counsel work.
- Representing co-accused and witnesses in criminal proceedings
- Representation where roster member previously provided duty counsel services
- New criminal charges and charges heard separately
- Submitting certificate accounts
- Disbursements requiring prior authorization
s. 33 Consultation policy
Policy governing whether and how LAO seeks the public’s views about changes to its rules and/or board-approved policies.