Only eight family law cases were granted ‘exceptional case’ legal aid funding between April and June this year, the Ministry of Justice has announced.
The Ministry received 125 applications for ‘exceptional case funding’ between 1 April and 30 June. Of the remaining cases, 79 were refused, two were withdrawn and 25 were still awaiting a decision at the end of June.
Legal aid funding has not been available for most family law disputes since the introduction in April 2013 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, commonly known as LASPO.
However, referring to the European Convention on Human Rights, Clause 10 of the Act states that legal aid may still be paid in ‘exceptional cases’ when:
“(a)..it is necessary to make the services available to the individual…because failure to do so would be a breach of—
(i)the individual’s Convention rights (within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998), or
(ii)any rights of the individual to the provision of legal services that are enforceable EU rights…”
In March, data from Legal Aid Agency revealed that just eight of 617 family case applications received exceptional funding between April and December last year.
Read the Ministry of Justice report here.