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Domestic violence: restrictions on grant of legal aid
Sep 29, 2018, 21:37 PM
domestic violence, legal aid legislation, access to justice, rights of women, LASPO
The Administrative Court Divisional Court (Lord Justice Fulford and Mrs Justice Lang DBE) gave judgment on 22 January 2015 in an application to quash delegated legal aid legislation in relation to domestic violence under Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO 2012).
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Jan 26, 2015, 05:39 AM
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Limitations on grant
of domestic violence legal aid: intra
vires the Act
Thoughts on the
(1) Complexity of legal aid legislation
The first point which is striking about this case is that
there is no judicial reflection on the extent to which the complexity of the
domestic violence legal aid scheme makes it unlawful. By definition it applies
to people who need to know – and to
understand – whether they can obtain access to legal representation. They
must know if they are excluded from help. It applies to people who, through
circumstance (recent domestic violence) or educational background (most people
who are not administrative law lawyers) are not likely easily to understand
legal aid statutory provisions. Does the complexity which the case surely
exposes, make it unlawful?
' … InAirey
v Ireland [(1979) 2 EHHR 533],having decided that there was a breach of Art 6(1), the
ECtHR went on to hold that the applicant was denied an "effectively
accessible" legal procedure to enable her to petition for a judicial
separation and that this also constituted a breach of Art 8.'
Does the relative complexity of the statutory provisions
truly make courts accessible, for domestic violence victims, within Airey terms; or is a breach of Art 8
implied here (breaches of Human Rights Act 1998, but not European Convention
1950, were refused permission by the court (para )?
(2) Could family lawyers have added
Did it make any difference that this case – essentially
about justice within the family law system – was argued out in the