Will Somebody Think of the Children?

Last week we posted this request, from the BBC, for examples of people excluded from Legal Aid by LASPO. We got one straight away in the comments box.

Since then I have come across at least two other unsolicited cases in which client firms of ours are trying to find funding.

The first involves a severely disabled woman who receives round-the-clock care in a specialist brain unit. She requires assistance and representation with divorce and contact. They have made an Exceptional Case Funding application for, initially, controlled work and await a determination – surely it will be granted?

The CIV ECF1 runs to 14 pages and requires proper and careful completion – especially on a first occasion. This probably took longer than will the divorce petition it is seeking to fund.

The next case involves contested contact with an applicant who is alleged to be a multiple sexual abuser, both of the respondent and other family members. These were investigated however the action taken was insufficient to meet the threshold required for a domestic abuse passport into a Family Private Law Legal Aid Certificate. There is soon to be a finding of fact hearing where the victim will have to act as an LiP, and confront her abuser. (Actually she will not because our firm will do this pro bono). Again an ECF application is pending but despite being urgent there is no devolved power, sorry “delegated function”, available.

We had been anticipating circumstances of this sort, though perhaps generally less severe; bullying, but not demonstrably abusive, partner continuing this via legal proceedings – especially now he knows LA is not available.

Equally possible – contact stopped in the knowledge the other side cannot privately fund proceedings.

In all the above circumstances it is, of course, the “innocent” children who potentially will suffer.

About Author: SP

One comment on “Will Somebody Think of the Children?

  • I am afraid that the only way to deal with this sort of situation is to let the client be a LIP. Only when a LIP is too distressed to deal wlth a hearing is there any possibility that MOJ will take the ear defenders off and actually hear what is being said to them about this disgraceful state of affairs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *