The Law Society is supporting an appeal against the High Court’s backing for reforms which have the effect of restricting access to legal aid for victims of domestic violence.

Last month the High Court rejected a challenge, brought by the Public Law Project on behalf of lawyers’ group Rights of Women, and supported by the Society, to rules introduced in April 2013 requiring victims of domestic violence to provide a prescribed form of evidence in order to apply for family law legal aid.

Some of the forms of evidence are subject to a 24-month time limit, despite the fact that perpetrators may remain a lifelong threat.

In the judgment, Mrs Justice Lang said she considered the lord chancellor’s efforts ‘to ensure that the domestic violence exception was strictly confined to its intended scope and not exploited as a route to obtaining legal aid’ were consistent with the statutory purpose of reducing the scope of legal aid.

Rights of Women lodged its appeal against the decision last week.

To find out more or to speak to the Ringrose Law Family team about the Legal Aid Appeal please contact Nichola on 01529 301300.

 

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