On the 19th February 2016, The Court of Appeal upheld a challenge to the government’s changes to legal aid for domestic violence victims.
The Court of Appeal ruled that regulation 33 was ‘invalid’ insofar as it ‘requires verifications of domestic violence to be given within a 24-month period before any application for legal aid and does not cater for victims of domestic violence who have suffered from financial abuse’.
The LASPO (Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012) legal aid cuts have had a huge impact on access to justice and the legal profession and women’s rights charities have argued tirelessly about how victims of domestic violence are not getting the help that they need due to the over-strict evidence requirements as they stand.
The Ministry of Justice will now have to consider this ruling and amend the current regulations.
This ruling now means that far more victims can access the help and advice that they require and is certainly a step in the right direction to ensuring that all victims of abuse have access to family legal aid.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, our family team of lawyers will be able to talk to you about your options.
Call in at any of our offices or call first for a free no obligation chat.