Garden Court Chambers is proud to support the challenge brought by Duncan Lewis Solicitors to the interpretation of the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012 and the Legal Aid Agency’s interpretation of these regulations.
At present where urgent work is undertaken, usually to prevent an unlawful removal or to obtain the immediate release of a person unlawfully detained an application for legal aid is made and then there is a short delay whilst a decision is made on that application. The Legal Aid Agency currently interprets the regulations as preventing payment for work done during this ‘gap’.
All of those in the immigration and public law teams at Garden Court Chambers do this type of urgent work for a variety of legal aid solicitors firms. It very often involves the most vulnerable individuals we represent.
Solicitors and barristers are essentially being asked to do this work for free. It is some of the most difficult work we do and comes with onerous obligations to the Courts. This timely challenges comes when the Bar Council is this week launching a campaign on the impact of LASPO five years on.
We wish Duncan Lewis good luck in this litigation which is essential to ensure access to the courts for those vulnerable individuals at immediate risk of injustice.