Delegated Functions in Judicial Review Cases
Changes to delegated functions for emergency homelessness Judicial Review!
Are you a provider that deals with matters concerning homelessness Judicial Reviews? If so then this is a must read article on the latest changes by the Legal Aid Agency, as they have provided clarification of providers powers to grant emergency representation using delegated functions in Judicial Reviews regarding homelessness.
This is such an important and vital area in respect of funding as Judicial Reviews regarding homelessness are time sensitive and cannot wait for the LAA to consider the funding application which could take weeks.
Since 2013, legal aid providers have not had the power to grant emergency representation using delegated functions for Judicial Reviews. The only exception to this were cases concerning urgent homelessness matters which had always been exempt from that rule.
With the implementation of the Standard Civil Contract in September 2018, a technical change was made to the terms of the above stated ‘homelessness exemption’. This restricted the use of providers being able to grant emergency representation in these vital cases.
However, do not despair, the LAA following constructive discussions with providers and stakeholders, have now decided to revert back to the position for these cases that was in place prior to September 2018.
Providers are now able to grant emergency representation for urgent homelessness judicial reviews in any of the following proceedings under:
part VII Housing Act 1996
section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948
section 20 of the Children Act 1989
section 47(5) National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990
section 19(3) of the Care Act 2014
section 36 of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014
The LAA have amended the authorisations under Section 5 of LASPO. The new authorisations make it clear that providers are permitted to make determinations on financial eligibility for emergency representation when using delegated functions. The LAA have confirmed that there is no need to refer the case to them to make this initial assessment of financial eligibility.
This is a positive step by the LAA to revert the situation back to before the Standard Civil Contract 2018 came into effect. We welcome more changes like this from the LAA to support providers and not hinder them in obtaining access to justice and funding for such.
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Sunday 10th February 2019