Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 146 (Sep)
Court: Administrative Court

Jackson J

Representation Robert Sherman (instructed by Cunningham John, Thetford) for the claimant.
  Jane Collier (instructed by the Legal Services Commission) for the commission.
Judgment Dates: 25 September 2002


Human rights - Fair trial - Civil right - Access to court - Legal aid - Claimant granted legal aid to bring action for damages - No material change in circumstances - Legal Services Commission withdrawing funding shortly before trial - Whether claimant denied access to a court - Whether Legal Services Commission acting unreasonably - European Convention on Human Rights, art 6(1).

The Case

Where the claimant had been granted legal aid in 1996 to bring a personal injury action, where there had been no relevant changes in his prospects of success and other relevant factors, and where the Legal Services Commission discharged the legal aid certificate shortly before the start of the trial, the court ruled that in the circumstances, the withdrawal of funding at that late stage amounted to a denial of his right of access to a court in breach of art6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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