The following are terms that apply for Clients who the PSO represents in court and other legal proceedings. These terms apply until otherwise agreed by the PSO and the person(s) being represented. These terms may be varied by agreement of both parties in writing.
Requesting legal services
The Client may ask for a quote or estimate of costs for court proceedings from the PSO prior to the provision of any legal services. The Client may use any written form of request.
When the Client requires the PSO to provide legal services, the PSO will deem such required legal services to be consistent with those stated in the Client’s Application for Legal Aid.
Costs of legal services
The services of lawyers at the PSO are FREE, however, there are court fees that will need to be paid to the High Court or the Magistrate’s Courts if a claim is filed by a Client.
Information about these fees can be obtained from the courts or from your PSO lawyer.
Unless otherwise agreed the Client shall be responsible for such court fees.
Undertaking legal services
If an Application is accepted, the PSO will:
- undertake the legal services in accordance with the scope outlined in the Application or as otherwise agreed with the Client
- comply with any timeframes agreed with the Client
- comply with any Client legal service standards and guidelines agreed between the Client and the PSO.
PSO will advise the Client of the PSO lawyer who will be primarily responsible for providing legal representation for their case.
PSO will consult with the Client in relation to any changes to the PSO lawyer when any new PSO lawyer will undertake significant work in relation to their case.
PSO may involve other PSO lawyer where necessary or appropriate.
Protecting Client information
PSO will secure all confidential Client information in its possession against unauthorised access, use, or disclosure.
Legal Services Directions
PSO will provide the legal services in accordance with the Solomon Islands Constitution, Public Solicitor's Act, Legal Practitioners Act (including code of conduct and rules) and the pdf PSO Guidelines for Provision of Legal Services (404 KB) , to the extent they apply.
PSO will identify and advise the Client of any significant issues that the Client may need to report under the directions.
PSO will inform the Client in a timely manner of any possible or apparent breach, or alleged breach, of the directions of which it becomes aware. Where the PSO is responsible for a breach of the directions, it will advise the Client of remedial actions as appropriate at no cost to the Client.
Reporting and reviews
Unless otherwise agreed, PSO can provide the Client with its standard reports of the legal services provided to the Client.
PSO and the Client will meet at agreed intervals to review PSO's provision of legal services.
Conflict of Interest
Except where appropriate arrangements are put in place with the Client's consent, PSO will endeavour to avoid a conflict of interest or duty. If a conflict of interest or duty does arise, the PSO will inform the Client of the existence of the conflict and consult with the Client as to how best to manage or eliminate the conflict.
Changing the agreed scope of legal services
A change in the scope of legal services may be made upon agreement between the Client and the PSO lawyer attending to his or her case. Consideration for such a change may also depend on the nature of the Client's issue or proceeding and on the resources available to the PSO.
If an issue arises in relation to PSO's performance in providing legal services, PSO will work with the Client to resolve the issue in a timely manner.
The Client should promptly raise the issue with the PSO lawyer responsible for the legal service, the supervising PSO lawyer or the PSO’s Office Manager and have his or her issue brought to the attention of the Public Solicitor in writing or by way of a face to face meeting in order to provide the PSO with an opportunity to explain and address the issue.
If the issue cannot be resolved in the first instance within reasonable time, the issue will be referred to the Solomon Islands Government Attorney for resolution.