The Ministry of Justice says legal aid may now be available for applications for review of Parole Board decisions made under section 67 of the Parole Act 2002.
Section 67 allows an offender who is the subject of any decision of the Parole Board under the Act (other than specified exceptions) to apply in writing for a review of the decision within 28 days.
The ministry says that after considering feedback from legal aid providers it has reviewed the policy relating to section 67 applications, which have been excluded from legal aid availability.
"As a result of that review, we have now determined that an application under section 67 may be eligible for legal aid," it says.
"The fact that a section 67 application can lead to an appeal under section 68 brings the application within the definition of "legal services" - section 4(1) Legal Services Act 2011.
"Further, section 68(2) provides that no appeal can be lodged under this section until the relevant order has first been reviewed under section 67. An application under section 67 is accordingly a necessary precondition for any subsequent appeal to the High Court."
The ministry says the fixed fee "parole hearing preparation - other proceedings entitled to counsel" is now available for section 67 applications for the amount of $700.