The latest update from LAPG includes this on the Public Law Project and exceptional funding challenges. The government has gone out of its way to try to limit the ability and scope for applications for legal aid in exceptional cases which are outside the scope of the new rules, whether they are areas under the new contracts or not. It will be absolutely crucial for there to be monitoring and where necessary challenges where vulnerable clients are blocked from using exceptional funding to bring their cases in all areas of social welfare law. Unfortunately the Law Society's list and PLP's are crucially incomplete, omitting employment for some reason, there you go.
1st April also sees the introduction of the new Exceptional Funding scheme. This is where legal aid may be made available for cases that are otherwise outside of scope. The tests for exceptional funding are complex but the LSC / LAA has produced guidance on Exceptional Funding which can be found at: www.justice.gov.uk/legal-aid/funding/funding-guidance ‘The Public Law Project (PLP), with help from the Law Society, is running a project to assist litigants with making exceptional funding applications and challenging refusals of exceptional funding where appropriate. PLP is therefore seeking referrals from solicitors who do not have the capacity to make exceptional funding applications for their clients or challenge unfair refusals of funding.’ For more information (and PLP’s resources are limited) see www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/articles/the-public-law-project-is-calling-for-exceptional-funding-referrals/ "