Judicial Review

Justice written question – answered on 12th June 2014.

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Photo of David Crausby David Crausby Labour, Bolton North East

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the new judicial review regulations on people who are fighting eviction or the repossession of a house.

Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Judicial review is an important way of challenging decisions by public authorities and will remain so. The recently amended regulations do not prevent people receiving legal aid in judicial review cases.

The Government's policy is that limited legal aid resources should be targeted at those judicial review cases where they are needed most, if the legal aid system is to command public confidence and credibility. We amended the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013 to implement the proposal that legal aid providers should only be paid for work carried out on an application for permission if permission is given by the court, subject to a discretion to pay providers for work carried out on an application for permission in cases that conclude prior to a permission decision. The discretion is held by the Lord Chancellor but will be exercised by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) on behalf of the Lord Chancellor. The amendments took effect on 22 April 2014.

An assessment of the impacts of this policy was published alongside the consultation response paper “Judicial Review: Proposals for Further Reform: the Government Response” and is available at

https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/judicial-review

It is important to reiterate that no change has been made to the availability of civil legal aid to individuals or to eligibility for legal aid for judicial review proceedings. Where a client is in receipt of legal aid, he or she will remain so for the life of the case (unless it is withdrawn for other reasons). We consider that there will remain sufficient providers who undertake judicial review work, taking on cases which they consider to be of merit.

The Government plans to undertake a post-implementation review of the legal aid provisions within the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 within 3-5 years of implementation. The review will include an assessment of the impact of this change.

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