In some cases, the Legal Services Society will not provide a legal aid lawyer to represent an accused where a criminal matter is appealed to the British Columbia Court of Appeal. The reasons for this vary, but the most common one is where the LSS determines that the accused has little chance of success on appeal. However, there is another way to obtain free legal representation.
Under section 684 of the Criminal Code, a court may appoint a lawyer to act on behalf of a self-represented party in a criminal appeal where a two-part test is met:
In deciding if the test is met, the judge will consider the merit of the appeal as well as the following factors, summarized recently by the BC Court of Appeal in R. v. Butler:
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