On 6th August 2015
In the latest ruling in the ongoing battle to secure access to justice in the face of cuts to legal aid, both the Exceptional Case Funding (‘ECF’) scheme and the merits test come in for heavy criticism from judge, Justice Collins.
IS v The Director of Legal Aid Casework & Anor  concerns the successful judicial review challenge of six linked claims, where extremely vulnerable applicants had been wrongfully refused ECF, a form of legal aid. One of the applicants refused funding in his immigration case is a Nigerian national who has lived in this country for over 13 years, who is blind with profound cognitive impairments and is therefore unable to care for himself or conduct litigation. It is hard to imagine a more vulnerable applicant with more need of legal representation…