Legal Aid, (previously known as Public Funding) allows for state funding of legal cases in certain very limited legal and financial circumstances.
Legal Aid has changed due to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which came into force on 1st April 2013.
If you are already receiving legal aid, (before 1st April 2013) for your case, this will continue. However, if your finances are reassessed and you are deemed to be no longer financially eligible you will lose your legal aid funding.
Applicants for legal aid must show that they meet the financial test and that their case has a reasonable prospect of being successful. There must also be no alternative sources of funding or representation available that would be more suitable for your case.
Due to the changes in legal aid the type of cases that could potentially be funded through legal aid has been reduced. The following is a list of case areas that can still potentially be funded:
Only for children with neurological injury suffered during pregnancy, birth or postnatal period of 8 weeks, which results in severe disability.
- Repossession of your home by mortgage lender
- Orders for sale of your home
- Involuntary bankruptcy, if includes your home, (includes statutory demand)
Where the Equality Act 2010 has been breached. This is where a person has been discriminated against for one or more of the following - age, race, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity.
Education (special educational needs)
Special education needs under the Education Act 1996, and assessments relating to learning difficulties under the Learning and Skills Act 2000.
- Public family law relating to the protection of children
- Family cases where evidence of domestic violence
- Children cases where evidence of child abuse
- Child abduction matters
- The representation of children in private family cases
- Legal advice as part of mediation
- Domestic violence injunction cases
- Forced marriage protection order cases
- Repossession of your home, (other than by a mortgage lender)
- Eviction from your home, both lawful and unlawful eviction
- Repairs to rented property where condition of property poses serious threat to your health or safety
- Homelessness, where you are homeless or risk being made homeless
- Injunctions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 in housing matters
Immigration & Asylum
- Where you are seeking asylum
- Domestic violence injunctions
- Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) proceedings
- Leave to enter or remain in the UK for victims of human trafficking
Mediation in family law cases, to reach an agreement without having to go to court.
- Appeals on a point of law to the Upper Tribunal
- Appeals on a point of law to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court
Mental health, community care, actions against public authorities and public law cases.