Neil Sheldon and Alasdair Henderson recently appeared for the Lord Chancellor in a case concerning the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (“LASPO”). A group of charities and campaigners brought a judicial review challenge against regulations made under LASPO relating to the provision of legal aid to victims of domestic violence in private family law disputes. The claim was unsuccessful, with the Divisional Court holding that the regulations were not ultra vires. The Court also held that the Lord Chancellor had legitimate reasons for drafting the regulations as he did, and that, whilst there may be justifiable criticisms of the regulations and their operation in practice, this is a matter for the Lord Chancellor and Parliament to address not the courts.
The judgment can be accessed here.