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Domestic violence evidence requirements update

What the recent Court of Appeal decision means for providers carrying out private family work.

Providers will be aware of the judgment in Rights of Women v The Secretary of State for Justice and the Lord Chancellor (CO/23652014) [2016] in which the Court of Appeal quashed those parts of Regulation 33 of the Regulation Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012 which reference the requirement for documentary evidence in support of civil legal services to be no more than 24 months. The Ministry of Justice is working on amended regulations.

Pending amended regulations providers are able to make determinations to grant controlled work or to make an application for a legal aid certificate in relation to civil legal services where the required documentary evidence is older than 24 months. The evidence will still need to be in the form prescribed in Regulation 33.

The Court of Appeal also set out that Regulation 33 should be amended to make provision for evidence of financial abuse. The Ministry of Justice is working on amended Regulations in this regard.

Once the amended regulations are laid we will produce updated guidance.