In order to consider whether to accept a request for assistance, the administrator of VAS must receive adequate detail about the nature of the issue and the advice needed. This includes details about the person, their means, whether they have applied for Legal Aid and if so, what was the outcome, a synopsis of the case/query to date, whether a solicitor has been retained and so on. This information will be kept confidential by the Voluntary Assistance Scheme and any barrister assigned to consider a case.
The case information should be sent by email (VAS@lawlibrary.ie) and should include the following details:
On whose behalf you are seeking assistance of VAS from, including name and address;
The factual background and whether any degree of urgency arises;
Details of other attempts made to acquire legal assistance, including applications for Legal Aid and details of the reasons that the applicant is unable to acquire legal assistance;
Please note that if the nature of the case is such that it comes within the remit of the Legal Aid Board applicants must apply to the Legal Aid Board for assistance before submitting an application to VAS;
An undertaking to act as contact between your client and the Scheme. This is an important point as if the case is accepted; there can be no direct contact between the client and VAS. The NGO is the point of contact. VAS cannot under any circumstances take on individuals’ cases. It only considers enquiries from charities, non-government organisations and civic society groups such as MABS and Citizens Information;
If the enquiry is in relation to a case already fixed for hearing, please notify us of the date the case is due in court. VAS requires sufficient notice of a hearing date before assistance can be granted. VAS requires 3 weeks' notice of any hearing date or deadline and such notice period will only be disregarded in exceptional circumstances;
Copies (NOT the original documents) of all correspondence should be posted to Voluntary Assistance Scheme, Law Library Distillery Building, 145-151 Church Street, Dublin 7 or scanned and emailed to VAS@lawlibrary.ie.
Please note we only accept copies of documents and do not accept responsibility if any original documents are sent to us.
VAS will consider the application and contact the organisation as to whether the case is suitable for the scheme. If so, there may be supplementary information required, which she will discuss with the NGO contact.
Guides to Possession Proceedings
Community Law and Mediation in partnership with FLAC and the Phoenix Project have produced a Guide to Possession Proceedings in both the Circuit Court and High Court for those in mortgage arrears facing repossession of their family home. The aim of the project is to provide easily digestible information for borrowers served with such court proceedings to empower them to make informed decisions when dealing with lending institutions. You can access the guides here.