A newly published Ad hoc Statistical Release from the Ministry of Justice outlines applications for so-called legal aid ‘exceptional case funding’ (ECF) between 1 April and 31 December last year. Clause 10 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 allows applications for exceptional case legal aid in cases that would not normally be eligible.
According to the release, ECF funding “is made where a case falls outside the scope of legal aid but the client or conducting solicitor believes there is evidence to support there being a requirement to provide funding because failure to do so would be a breach of, or having regard to any risk that failure to do so would be such a breach of, their Convention rights (within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998), or any rights of the individual to the provision of legal services that are enforceable EU rights.”
During the nine months, the Agency received a total of 1,151 applications for exceptional case funding. Family law made up the most popular category, with 617 applications, followed by immigration, with 187 applications.
In the family category, 426 applications were refused and 161 were rejected. Three were withdrawn and 18 were still awaiting a decision at the end of the month.