Legal aid news update - 18 August 2014

  • Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Division, has ruled that in private law cases the court may step in to pay for a party’s legal representation where the Legal Aid Agency refuse to do so. The judgment has been described as a challenge to the government and as creating a shadow legal aid scheme.

Legal aid news update - 30 July 2014

  • 30 July marked the 65th anniversary of legal aid, as the Legal Advice and Assistance Act 1949 was enacted on 30 July 1949. Andrew Caplen, the president of the Law Society, said legal aid is “too important to be put into retirement”.

Legal Aid Update: Training notes

On 11 June we ran a seminar to update members on some of the key changes brought about under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) and the more recent changes put forth in the Government consultations, Transforming Legal Aid and Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps

Residence test - unlawful

The Administrative Court has declared that the proposed residence test for civil legal aid is discriminatory and unlawful, following a successful judicial review challenge against the Secretary of State for Justice.  The case was brought by the Public Law Project, a national legal charity that promotes access to justice, on the basis that the residence test would, if implemented, violate fundamental constitutional rights guaranteed by the common law and the European Convention on Human Rights, as incorporated into United Kingdom law by the Human Rights Act 1998.

House of Lords debates Bill

The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill: House of Lords Second Reading, 30 June 2014

YLAL member, Miranda Mourby, reports on the debate in the House of Lords on the government’s proposed changes to judicial review.

Challenge to exceptional funding

On 13 June 2014, judgment was handed down in the case of Gudanaviciene and others v Director of Legal Aid Casework [2014] EWHC 1840 (Admin). The Claimants, who were each seeking to challenge various immigration decisions, successfully argued that they should have been granted legal aid under the Exceptional Funding regime.

Residence test vote for MPs

A vote is scheduled on Wednesday 9 July between 11am and 2 pm in the House of Commons on the Government's proposed regulations to introduce a "residence test" to qualify for legal aid (the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 2014).

This follows a debate in committee on the regulations on 1 July that you can read here.

APPG Legal Aid report: JR reform

APPG on Legal Aid meets to discuss the reforms to judicial review: An “ideological” attack on the rights of ordinary people

by YLAL Member, Mary-Rachel McCabe

MPs were urged to halt ‘ideological’ cuts to judicial review at a breakfast meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Legal Aid on Tuesday 8 April.

HoL debate 30 June 2014

On Monday 30 June 2014, after 1430, the second reading of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill will take place in the House of Lords.

The Bill can be accessed here.

Commons debate on JR 17 June

On 17 June 2014 the House of Commons will debate parts of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill that relate to judicial review. The debate will start any time around 12.30 pm.

We are very concerned that this bill will create further barriers to access to justice and the important remedy of judicial review that helps hold the state accountable for unlawful acts.


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