Permission granted to challenge legal aid residence test
29th January 2014
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Permission has been granted to Public Law Project (PLP) to challenge the introduction of the legal aid residence test. The proposed test would effectively prevent access to civil legal aid for people who are not lawfully resident in the UK or haven’t been for at least 12 months – regardless of how strong or viable their case may be.


PLP is a national legal charity whose primary objective is to improve access to public law remedies for those whose access is restricted by poverty or some other form of disadvantage. The PLP’s remit includes: increasing the accountability of public decision-makers; enhancing the quality of public decision-making; and improving access to justice.


The proposed residence test will remove the protection of law from a great number of people who would fail to pass the test. The PLP believe strongly that this violates the principle that the law should apply equally and fairly to all. This is why the PLP has taken the step of challenging the introduction of the residence test in the courts.


Despite strong opposition from the Government, a Protective Costs Order (PCO) was awarded in favour of the PLP in addition to it being granted permission to challenge the test. The PCO limits the PLP’s exposure to the risk of adverse costs and makes the legal challenge a viable option for the charity.


The PLP’s claim has been expedited, enabling a substantive hearing to take place before the residence test comes into force. The test’s introduction has been postponed to May 2014 pending the outcome of the challenge hearing.


If you would like t learn more about the work of the PLP visit the following link

About the Author

Marie E

Member since: 13th April 2010

We are a high street law firm established in 1897. We opened our Bury office in 2013 and our solicitors are always on hand to provide legal advice to individuals and businesses alike.

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