Appeals: civil merits

How to appeal against a civil merits decision that you or your client disagree with.

Applies to England and Wales

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You will be notified by letter about a civil merits refusal or cancellation of a certificate.

You will have 14 days from the date of this letter to appeal the decision. An appeal must be submitted through CCMS via a Legal Appeal Request task.

How it works

The appeal procedure is explained in the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012.

The appeal will first be reviewed internally. If, after considering the appeal, the LAA considers the criteria for legal aid are met and overturns the decision the application / amendment will be granted and a legal aid certificate / amended certificate issued.

If, the LAA considers the criteria for legal aid are not met and upholds the decision, you and your client will be informed of the reason why and at the same time you will be informed whether there is a right of further appeal to an Independent Funding Adjudicator (IFA).

Independent Funding Adjudicator (IFA)

If the appeal is referred to an IFA they will make a decision / recommendation based on the information provided in support of the appeal and the existing legal aid regulations. The IFA may contact your client, if appropriate.

The decision is then returned to the LAA. If the IFA makes a decision in relation to the merits or cost / benefit of the case then, subject to all the regulations being met, a certificate will be issued or amended and you and your client notified.

If the IFA considers the appeal should be allowed on other grounds, they will make a recommendation to the Director of Legal Aid casework that the application is reconsidered on that basis.

Where the IFA upholds the decision to refuse legal aid, a letter of refusal, citing the grounds given by the IFA, will be issued.

Published 1 June 2014
Last updated 29 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. Content reviewed.

  2. First published.