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State funding for family proceedings after Q v Q (Private Law: Public Funding): Part 1 (£)

Date:26 SEP 2014
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Solicitor Advocate
In Q v Q; Re B; Re C (Private Law: Public Funding) [2014] EWFC 31, [2014] 2 FLR (forthcoming and reported at [2014] Fam Law 1398) Sir James Munby P said that funding should be ‘provided by’ by HMCTS for children proceedings in particular circumstances. A variety of recent cases in the family courts, Administrative Court and Court of Appeal have drawn attention to the weaknesses in the legal aid scheme following the introduction of LASPO.

This series will outline the present funding position of parties in private family proceedings. Any decision of the courts, of the parties and of the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) must start from the welfare of the child (Black LJ in JG v Lord Chancellor and Others [2014] EWCA Civ 656, [2014] 2 FLR (forthcoming and reported at [2014] Fam Law 1221) the only LASPO case to date in the Court of Appeal). Funding is contrasted with the cost of a case. The limited extent to which a party can obtain litigation funding in advance of (save where legal aid is available or as a costs allowance or legal services order) is explained. The role of experts and the particular rigours presented by litigants in person (in the more extreme cases) are explained and their part in Sir James’s concerns is touched upon. The series will continue with:
  • a review of the bases on which legal aid may be granted in the light of the recent case-law (especially LASPO, s 10) (Part 2); and 
  • Speculation on what other avenues – such as those hinted at by the President in Q v Q (Private Law: Public Funding) – may be available to parties for assistance in court (Part 3).

The full version of this article appears in the October 2014 issue of Family Law.

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