Article 15 of ECAT imposes a duty to ‘provide, in its internal law, for the right to legal assistance and to free legal aid for victims under the conditions provided by its internal law’.
The matters which are in scope for legal aid funding are set out in Schedule 1 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. The government also explains how it meets its duty to provide for the right to legal aid to victims in Annex F of the guidance.
victims are of course entitled to free legal advice and representation in relation to matters which are in scope for legal aid in the same manner as anybody else, including via the Exceptional Case Funding scheme, such as in public law and asylum claims. Legal aid for advice on an application for leave to enter or remain (other than protection claims) is dependent on a positive reasonable grounds or conclusive grounds decision, and legal aid for employment claims other than discrimination claims is dependent on the claimant being a victim of trafficking (though a positive NRM decision is not needed).