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Civil news: new regulations for funding of judicial review cases

The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 set out changes to payment for judicial review cases.

New regulations were introduced on 27 March 2015 which make amendments to the provisions governing payment for providers’ work on applications for judicial review.

This follows the High Court’s judgment in the case of R (on the application of Ben Hoare Bell & Ors) v the Lord Chancellor.

The new regulations reflect the general policy as set out under the previous regulations (The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014, while additionally taking into account the findings of the High Court.

The changes mean that payment for work on an application for judicial review is not allowed unless the:

  • court gives permission to bring judicial review proceedings
  • court neither gives nor refuses permission and the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) considers payment is reasonable in the circumstances – see ‘discretionary payments’ below
  • defendant withdraws the decision to which the application for judicial review relates and the withdrawal results in the court (a) refusing permission to bring judicial review proceedings, or (b) neither refusing nor giving permission
  • court orders an oral hearing to consider whether to give permission to bring judicial review proceedings
  • court orders a rolled-up hearing

Why is this change being made now?

Following judgment in R (Ben Hoare Bell and Others) v the Lord Chancellor, the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014, which introduced changes to the provisions governing remuneration for judicial review applications and which were introduced on 22 April 2014, were quashed.

This means we are no longer using the payment arrangements for this work as set out under the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No 3) Regulations 2014. These no longer apply.

Discretionary payments

As before, providers may apply for a discretionary payment in situations where the court has neither given nor refused permission on an application for judicial review. For example, if a case is settled or withdrawn before the court has reached a decision on the application.

Where can I find out more?

Details of the change are set out in the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 see link below.

These regulations apply to work carried out on making an application for judicial review in respect of which the application for civil legal services was made on or after 27 March 2015.

Further information

The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) Regulations 2015

Judgment in R (Ben Hoare Bell and Others) v the Lord Chancellor