Yesterday, the Court of Appeal found that the Government’s introduction of the controversial ‘residence test’ for legal aid, was lawful. This overturns a Divisional Court judgement of July 2014, which found the introduction of the test to be discriminatory and unlawful. Both courts were presided over by a panel of three judges and have considered very different aspects of the case, and come to very different conclusions. PLP is looking at options, including seeking an urgent consideration of the case by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom before the test is implemented, and will update the community in due course.

PLP are the claimant in this case, and we are being represented by Bindmans LLP.  You can find their detailed press release concerning the judgment, here. You can find the full Court of Appeal judgement here.

We would like to thank our lawyers, at Bindmans LLP, Blackstone Chambers and Doughty Street Chambers, for their continued work on this extraordinarily important case.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Public Law Project (PLP) is an independent, national legal charity which aims to improve access to justice for those whose access is restricted by poverty, discrimination or other similar barriers. The residence test case was brought in furtherance of PLP’s charitable objectives. PLP’s website is at

  2. PLP’s legal team is John Halford of Bindmans LLP, Michael Fordham QC, Ben Jaffey, Naina Patel of Blackstone Chambers, and Alison Pickup of Doughty Street Chambers.
  3. You can find the PLP press release from July 2014 on the Divisional Court Judgement, here, and the original Divisional Court judgement here.