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State funding for family proceedings: Part 2: Exceptional case determination (£)

Date:6 NOV 2014
Third slide
Solicitor Advocate
Family Law

Grants of legal aid for civil proceedings (‘civil legal services’) have been radically curtailed by Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. Section 10 of that Act creates a narrow category of cases where an exceptional case determination can be made to bring the United Kingdom legal aid system within the requirements of European Convention 1950. The extent to which the Lord Chancellor can issue Guidance to restrict such narrow categories of grant and the legitimacy of LAA decision-making has been considered by the courts in the first part of this year. LAA decision-makers have had decisions set aside; and the Lord Chancellor’s Guidance has been held unlawful by the High Court.

In this second article of a series on legal aid David Burrows considers the relevant European Convention 1950 provisions; reviews the extent to which the Lord Chancellor may fetter his own discretion by guidance and delegated legislation; and looks at LAA decision-making in the context of s 10.

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

Online subscribers can access the article here.

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