Legal aid is the route through which poor and marginalised people should be able to access help, advice and representation when they need to uphold and defend their legal rights through the courts. It is an essential means by which access to justice is secured in the UK.

PLP uses a combination of legal casework, policy work, training and research  to improve access to the current civil legal aid scheme, as well as helping to shape it for the future. Ultimately, we would like to see a legal aid scheme that provides meaningful access to justice, which is accessible to those who need it, able to provide effective legal advice, and sustainable in the long-term.

It has long been recognised that the current system of legal aid is broken and that Exceptional Case Funding – designed to act as a safety net for the most vulnerable – is inadequate.

The aims of Public Law Project’s legal aid work are to:

  • Significantly increase the number of people financially eligible for legal aid under the means regulations
  • Increase the accessibility of legal aid for people whom parliament intended should access it, and
  • Significantly improve the sustainability, accessibility, and quality of publicly funded advice.

Scroll down to read more about what we do and how.

PLP contributes to Westminster Legal Policy Forum on Next Steps for Legal Aid
Latest

PLP contributes to Westminster Legal Policy Forum on Next Steps for Legal Aid

On 16th March 2021 the Westminster Policy Forum held a conference titled ‘Next steps for Legal Aid in England and Wales – funding, quality, access to justice and alternative sources of advice’. Dr Emma Marshall, Research Fellow at Public Law Project, attended as a keynote speaker.…

Improving Exceptional Case Funding
Research

Improving Exceptional Case Funding

This briefing provides an update to Public Law Project’s earlier report, Improving Exceptional Case Funding: Providers’ Perspectives, which was published in January 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic.…

Wales Conference / Gyhoeddus Cymru
Events

Wales Conference / Gyhoeddus Cymru

4 May 2021 – 6 May 2021 @ 12:00 am – After a short hiatus due to the pandemic PLP’s Wales conference returns in 2021, looking at access to justice, the impact of Brexit and a series of practical public law seminars.   The event is held over three days on Zoom, with sessions  divided up between early morning and afternoon to allow for maximum flexibility around […]…


As part of its review of LASPO, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) acknowledged the argument put forward by PLP as part of our submissions to the review: people in receipt of Universal Credit should not have to be financially means tested in order to receive legal aid. The MoJ agreed to continue to passport all recipients of Universal Credit through the means test.

The MoJ referenced PLP’s evidence on the eligibility criteria and, even though that was not an issue initially in scope, agreed to review financial thresholds for legal aid. PLP is monitoring closely the development of policy in this area.

Read: The gap between the legal aid means regulations and financial reality