Supreme Court rules Legal Aid residence test unlawful

15 Jul 2016 | by Claire Alderman

R (Public Law Project) v Lord Chancellor [2016] UKSC 39

This week the Supreme Court handed down judgment in R (Public Law Project) v Lord Chancellor, in which it unanimously concluded that the proposed restriction of legal aid on grounds of residence under the draft Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 2014 was ultra vires the Henry VIII clause in the enabling Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. The judgment follows the Supreme Court’s decision on 18 April 2016 to cut short oral argument on the basis that it had already concluded that the appeal should be allowed.

Eric Metcalfe acted for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England, which was granted leave to intervene in the Supreme Court by way of written submissions.

Stephen Cragg QC is a trustee of PLP who brought the case.

A copy of the Supreme Court’s judgment is available here.