The Public Law Project, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Justice The Office of The Children’s Commissioner: Admn 15 Jul 2014

The claimant challenged the lawfulness of the 2014 Regulations which amended the entitlement to legal aid for those failing a residence test: ‘ the effect of this amendment will be to exclude those who have a better than fifty-fifty chance of establishing a claim, the subject-matter of which is judged as having the highest priority need for legal assistance, but without the means to pay for it, on the grounds that they lack a sufficiently close connection with the country to whose laws they are subject.’
Held: The Regulations were invalid: ‘a residence test cannot be justified in relation to the enforcement of domestic law or the protection afforded by domestic law, which is applicable to all equally, provided they are within its jurisdiction. In the context of a discriminatory provision relating to legal assistance, invoking public confidence amounts to little more than reliance on public prejudice. ‘
Held: The Regulations were or would be (i) ultra vires, ie outside the scope of the power granted to the Lord Chancellor in LASPO to bring forward delegated legislation, and (ii) unjustifiably discriminatory in its effect.

Moses LJ, Collins, Jay JJ
[2014] EWHC 2365 (Admin), [2014] HRLR 24, [2015] 2 All ER 689, [2014] WLR(D) 316, [2014] ELR 372, [2015] 1 WLR 251
Bailii, WLRD, Bailii Summary
Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, Human Rights Act 1998, LASPO Act 2012 (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 2014, European Convention on Human Rights 6
England and Wales
Cited by:
At AdmnPublic Law Project v The Lord Chancellor and Another CA 25-Nov-2015
Lord Chancellor’s appeal, with permission granted by the court below, against the decision of the Divisional Court granting a declaration that legislation which the Lord Chancellor proposed to introduce by statutory instrument would be unlawful. Mr . .
At AdmnThe Public Law Project, Regina (on The Application of) v Lord Chancellor SC 13-Jul-2016
Proposed changes to the Legal Aid regulations were challenged as being invalid, for being discriminatory. If regulations are not authorised under statute, they will be invalid, even if they have been approved by resolutions of both Houses under the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Legal Aid

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.534302