(a) a complaint has been lodged under section 78(1); but
(b) for whatever reason, there has not been a settlement of the matter to which the act the subject of the complaint relates,
then any person who may institute proceedings under this Ordinance in respect of that act may make an application to the Commission for assistance in respect of those proceedings.
(2) The Commission shall consider an application under subsection (1) and may grant it if it thinks fit to do so, in particular where—
(a) the case raises a question of principle; or
(b) it is unreasonable, having regard to the complexity of the case or the applicant’s position in relation to the respondent or another person involved or any other matter, to expect the applicant to deal with the case unaided.
(3) Assistance by the Commission under this section may include—
(a) giving advice;
(b) arranging for the giving of advice or assistance by a solicitor or counsel;
(c) arranging for representation by any person including all such assistance as is usually given by a solicitor or counsel in the steps preliminary or incidental to any proceedings, or in arriving at or giving effect to a compromise to avoid or bring to an end any proceedings;
(d) any other form of assistance which the Commission may consider appropriate,
but paragraph (c) does not affect the law and practice regulating the descriptions of persons who may appear in, conduct, defend and address a court in, any proceedings except to the extent permitted under rules made in accordance with section 73E of the District Court Ordinance (Cap 336).
(4) In so far as expenses are incurred by the Commission in providing the applicant with assistance under this section the recovery of those expenses (as taxed or assessed in such manner as may be prescribed by relevant rules) constitutes a first charge for the benefit of the Commission—
(a) on any costs or expenses which (whether by virtue of a judgment or order of the District Court or an agreement or otherwise) are payable to the applicant by any other person in respect of the matter in connection with which the assistance is given; and
(b) so far as relates to any costs or expenses, on his or her rights under any compromise or settlement arrived at in connection with that matter to avoid or bring to an end any proceedings.
(5) The charge conferred by subsection (4) is subject to any charge under the Legal Aid Ordinance (Cap 91) and to any provision in that Ordinance for payment of any sum into the Supplementary Legal Aid Fund established under that Ordinance.
(6) In this section— relevant rules (有關規則) means any rules made under the District Court Ordinance (Cap 336); respondent (答辯人) includes a prospective respondent.