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Time-limit on application for domestic violence legal aid invalid

Date:19 FEB 2016
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Solicitor Advocate

Legal aid appeal allowed

The question for the Court of Appeal in R (Rights of Women) v Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice [2016] EWCA Civ 9 (on appeal from R (Rights of Women) v Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice [2015] EWHC 35 (Admin)) was summarised by Longmore LJ:

'[4] … whether [legal aid] procedural regulations have been unlawfully used to introduce more restrictive criteria for eligibility than those found in LASPO 2012 or whether they frustrate the statutory purpose by prescribing the acceptable types of supporting evidence too rigidly and narrowly thus excluding many women who ought to be eligible for legal aid under the terms of LASPO 2012. The argument has focused principally on the requirement that the supporting evidence must be less than 24 months old.'

This involved two considerations: first whether the scheme for application for legal aid was intra vires Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO); and secondly as operated by Legal Aid Agency did the scheme fulfil the parliamentary purpose of the Act (see Padfield v Minister of Agriculture...

Read the full article here.