Justice for everyone: another Grayling reform bites the dust

“The general purpose of the legislation – which the Lord Chancellor argued was to reduce the availability of legal aid to “the individuals who, and types of claim which, are most deserving of public support” – could not stop the PLP’s case. Section 9(2) was clearly about the type of services, and not the individual characteristic.

A victory for parliamentary supremacy and for access to justice; another embarrassment for Mr Grayling’s tenure as Lord Chancellor.”

UK Human Rights Blog

R (on the application of Public Law Project) v Lord Chancellor [2016] UKSC 39

Supreme Court bins the Government’s residence test for legal aid as ultra vires: just as the latest non-lawyer assumes the role of Lord Chancellor, the reforms made by the first non-lawyer to assume that role continue to fade away.

In April 2013, the Government announced it would introduce a residence test for civil legal aid funding under the provisions of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (“LASPO”) 2012. If you were not lawfully resident in the UK (or a Crown Dependency or British Overseas Territory) at the time of your application for legal aid, or for the last 12 months, you would not be eligible for legal aid.

The Public Law Project (“PLP”) challenged this residence test on two grounds: (i) the secondary legislation was ultra vires; and, (ii) the test was unjustifiably…

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