In re Brownlee for Judicial Review: SC 29 Jan 2014

The appellant challenged the course taken in his criminal trial after his legal team had withdrawn citing professional embarassment. No replacement team could be found willing to act in a complicated sentencing matter because of the reduced fixed fee legal aid scheme. He had succeeded at first instance, but the Court of Appeal had held the Rules to be lawful.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The Rules failed to make allowance for the need for legal representatives to be paid for preparatory work in connection with sentencing had not been allowed for. However, sice the Rules had already been amended, the remedy would be by way of a declaration, rather than mandamus.
The Court of appeal had not allowed for the fact that the change of representation was initiated by the legal representatives and not by the appellant.

Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Hodge
[2014] UKSC 4, UKSC 2013/0247, [2014] NI 188
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC Summary, SC
Legal Aid, Advice and Assistance (Northern Ireland) Order 1981
Northern Ireland
Appeal fromBrownlee, Re Judicial Review CANI 23-Oct-2013
The applicant had successfully challenged the Legal Aid rules as they applied to his seeking representation on a sentencing issue in the Crown Court which had led to him being unable to find legal representation because of the inadequacy of the fee . .
At First InstanceBrownlee, Re Judicial Review QBNI 20-Mar-2013
The applicant, a convicted prisoner sought a declaration that the respondent’s decision to make no provision for exceptional circumstances in the payment of fees under the 2011 Amendment Rules is unlawful and a declaration that the said Rules . .
CitedRegina v Rowbotham and others 1988
Ontario Court of Appeal – ‘In our view a trial judge confronted with an exceptional case where legal aid has been refused and who is of the opinion that representation of the accused by counsel is essential to a fair trial may, upon being satisfied . .
CitedMcLean and Another v Buchanan, Procurator Fiscal and Another PC 24-May-2001
(Appeal from High Court of Justiciary (Scotland)) It was not an infringement of a defendant’s right to a fair trial where the costs of defending the case brought against him would be substantial, but where his solicitors would be paid only a small . .
CitedCullen v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (Northern Ireland) HL 10-Jul-2003
The claimant had been arrested. He had been refused access to a solicitor whilst detaiined, but, in breach of statutory duty, he had not been given reasons as to why access was denied. He sought damages for that failure.
Held: If damages were . .
CitedRegina v Ulcay CACD 19-Oct-2007
The defendant appealed against his conviction, saying that his counsel and solicitors had withdrawn at the last moment on the grounds of professional embarrassment, the defendant having altered his instructions. New lawyers were unwilling to assist . .
CitedP, Regina v Misc 18-Mar-2008
Crown Court at Harrow – The Court stayed the criminal proceedings because the defendant was unable to retain counsel because of what was said to be a failure to provide adequate legal aid fees in criminal confiscation proceedings. . .
CitedPennock and Another v Hodgson CA 27-Jul-2010
In a boundary dispute, the judge had found a boundary, locating it by reference to physical features not mentioned in the unambigous conveyance.
Held: The judge had reiterated but not relied upon the statement as to the subjective views of the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice, Legal Aid

Updated: 21 November 2021; Ref: scu.521153