Challenge to exceptional funding

On 13 June 2014, judgment was handed down in the case of Gudanaviciene and others v Director of Legal Aid Casework [2014] EWHC 1840 (Admin). The Claimants, who were each seeking to challenge various immigration decisions, successfully argued that they should have been granted legal aid under the Exceptional Funding regime.

The guidance on Exceptional Funding applications allows for funding to be granted only in those rare cases where, without legal aid, assertion of the claim would be practically impossible. Each of the six Claimants argued that they met this threshold based on their respective vulnerabilities and language barriers. Mr Justice Collins concluded in each of the cases that legal aid ought to have been granted, and that the Lord Chancellor’s Guidance on Exceptional Funding was unlawful:

“It follows from what I have so far said that in my view the Guidance is defective in that it sets too high a threshold and fails to recognise that Article 8 does apply even in immigration cases and, despite the exclusion of Article 6, carries with it procedural requirements which must be taken into account.”

Click here for the judgment. Permission to appeal has been granted to the Defendant.

Practitioners seeking assistance with exceptional funding applications should be aware of the Public Law Project’s exceptional funding referral scheme, details of which can be found here.

Exceptional Case Funding workshop

Exceptional Funding applications don’t have to be scary… get some tips so you can give them a try.

If you would like some practical advice on making an application, or to talk about possible cases – come to a workshop put on by the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association. We will be focusing on immigration cases and the recent High Court judgment but this workshop is open to anyone interested even if you are not an immigration lawyer or member of ILPA, as the application process is the same, and issues will cross over areas of law. We would love to hear your ideas and experience. We also hope to talk about escape fee claims.

Frances Trevena from Rights of Women will be at the meeting, as well as Joe Vester from the Public Law Project, and Roopa Tanna & Alison Pickup, who represented one of the claimants in Gudanaviciene and others.

Please feel welcome to share this with others.

Date:                     Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Time:                    6.30pm

Venue:                 ILPA Office – Lindsey House, 40 – 42 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6JN


Unfortunately there is no CPD available for this event.

For any more information email