An Ad Hoc Statistical release by the MoJ that doesn’t mention fat cats…. (h/t @LAWrixon)
This one is about LASPO s10 exceptional funding applications.
Because we like to “add value” (barf) here at PT, I can share the following depressing nuggets with you :
I calculate that for the period April – December 2013 ….
- Only 3% of applications were successful.
- 54% of all s10 applications were for family cases.
- 0.69% of all the applications granted were family – disproportionately low.
- Family applications had a success rate of 1.29% (the overall success rate of 3% is skewed by a high 15% success rate for inquests with every other category faring far worse. Immigration had a success rate of 1.6% for example.
- 5.38% of applications were made by individuals without the assistance of a solicitor. Of the 62 such applications, all were rejected or refused, bar one which was withdrawn and one which received a “positive preliminary assessment”. I call that a success rate of NIL. The Guidance suggests that the process is sufficiently straightforward to enable litigants to complete these applications without the assistance of a solicitor but the figures do not bear this out – individuals are not applying in great numbers, and when they do they are FAILING. Given these figures – why would solicitors put in the work? They are almost bound to fail.
- 14.5% of the applications made by individuals were family applications. They all failed, bar the positive preliminary assessment.
The statistical release says of family applications, predominantly private law children (on page 4) “The overarching question to consider is whether the withholding of legal aid would make the assertion of the claim practically impossible or lead to an obvious unfairness in proceedings.” Whilst I recognise that s10 is by definition meant to be an exceptional provision, I’m not sure that I think that is a satisfactory gloss or even a precis of s10 and the relevant regulations and guidance. I think it sets the test too high, as is rather borne out by the figures.