Lord Chancellor accepts unlawfulness of new Legal Aid scheme for immigration and asylum appeals


The Lord Chancellor has accepted, in response to a claim for judicial review, that the making of the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 was unlawful on the basis that the consultation process had been inadequate and that he had failed to comply with the Tameside duty of inquiry.

The regulations established a new fee scheme for immigration and asylum appeals managed under the Online Procedure rolled out by the First-tier Tribunal in March this year. Widespread concerns had been raised that the regulations failed to adequately remunerate providers for the additional and front-loaded work the procedure required, with potentially serious consequences for the viability of this type of legally aided work and hence for access to justice.

The Lord Chancellor has now decided to revoke the regulations and to put in place a temporary fee regime which will offer remuneration on an hourly-rates basis for appeals under the Online Procedure.

Chris Buttler and Eleanor Mitchell were involved in the case.

More information on the claim can be found here.