R (Howard League for Penal Reform) v Lord Chancellor [2015] EWCA Civ 819, [2015] MHLO 101

This was an appeal against the refusal of permission to apply for judicial review of changes introduced to criminal legal aid for prison law by the Criminal Legal Aid (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. (1) The 'lack of consultation' challenge was unarguable. (2) The appellants also challenged the removal of criminal legal aid funding in seven principal areas of prison law (including pre-tariff reviews and return to open condition cases before the Parole Board) on the basis that they either impact upon the liberty of the prisoner or they engage his or her Article 8 Convention rights in a way that is systemically unfair. The Court of Appeal accepted that it was arguable that, without appropriate assistance, the system could carry an unacceptable risk of unlawful decision making in relation to those with mental health, learning or other difficulties which effectively deprive them of the ability effectively to participate in the relevant decisions.

External link