Community Legal Service

Also found in: Acronyms.

Community Legal Service (CLS)

a part of the system for provision of legal aid in non-criminal matters in England and Wales. It is administered by the Legal Services Commission. The service is essentially delivered by, among others, solicitors, Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, law centres, local authority services (including libraries) and community centres. Partnerships are to be established to arrange for the most efficient delivery. Insofar as the services are not actually free, there is a Community Legal Service Fund (the old Legal Aid Fund) to help people who cannot pay. It is intended to establish meaningful quality standards, mainly by means of contracts. There is a funding code. The Legal Aid Franchise Quality Standard provided the quality assurance framework within which the main suppliers operate. This has been replaced by the Specialist Quality Mark -the quality assurance standard that is a pre-requisite to holding a General Civil Contract.
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