Legal aid and public law
Bringing a claim for a Judicial Review is not cheap. It is not unusual for a case that goes to the High Court to cost upwards of £25,000. If unsuccessful the claimant is likely to be ordered by the Court to pay the costs of the defendant, as well as their own.
We would stress that these sums should not put you off from taking legal action and challenging unjust and unlawful decisions of public bodies. At Public Interest Law Unit we look to secure legal aid for claimants, and if that is not possible, in the last instance to obtain costs protection and work on a pro bono basis.
However, and where possible we look to fund your case by way of legal aid.
In order to be eligible for legal aid, and to challenge the decision of a public body, a claimant would need to be in receipt of a means tested benefit such as income support, income based job seekers allowance or guaranteed state pension credit. Legal aid will be a warded in full if you are in receipt of one of these benefits, and assuming your savings are not too high. If your case and application for a Judicial Review has a reasonable chance of success – then legal aid will be awarded.
The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) – as in circumstances mentioned above will cover the cost of the legal action for a claimant and there appointed lawyer. Crucially the LAA also protects from any adverse or negative costs risk.
Given this, and the options as outlined the Public Interest Law Unit will always work to secure a way (where possible) to fund a judicial review case. We will work with claimants to ensure that a costs risk will be no hurdle to access to the courts and access to justice.