This briefing provides an update to Public Law Project’s Policy work around Legal Aid, summarising our response to the Justice Select Committee’s ongoing inquiry into ‘The Future of Legal Aid’ and our letter to the Lord Chancellor concerning the need for urgent reform to the ECF scheme. PLP remains committed to Legal Aid as an area of focus work and has recently updated its priorities which are:

– to significantly increase the number of people financially eligible for legal aid under the means regulations;

– to increase the accessibility of legal aid for people whom parliament intended should access it, and;

– to significantly improve the sustainability, accessibility, and quality of publicly funded advice    

Going forward, PLP will continue to engage with the Ministry of Justice as part of its Means Test Review, which is due to consult on proposals to change the Legal Aid means tests in Spring 2021.

PLP remains well placed to assist individuals and organisations who have experienced difficulty in accessing legal aid as a result in inequities in the current system of means testing, with our casework team achieving successes in recent cases concerning ‘trapped’ and ‘imaginary’ capital. We have also developed resources for practitioners who encounter these issues in future.