What cases do we fund?
On this page:
- What is the Funding Code?
- Refocusing Changes - April 2010
- Guidance on funding decisions
- LSC Manual
- Public Interest Reports
The Funding Code is the set of rules we use to decide what individual cases we will fund through civil legal aid.
See Documents for the Criteria and the Procedures.
The Criteria (see Documents) define what services we will fund. These range from basic legal advice to representation in court proceedings.
Different criteria are set for different types of case according to the Lord Chancellor's priorities.
The Procedures (see Documents) set out how we make decisions about funding civil legal aid. They explain the 4 ways services are delivered:
- Controlled Work
- Licensed Work
- Other Contracted Work
- Non-Contracted Work.
An important package of changes to the Funding Code received Parliamentary approval to come into effect on 1 April 2010. These follow from the recent consultation Legal Aid: Refocusing on Priority Cases. There are changes to the Criteia for judicial review, multi-party actions, public interest cases and claims against public authorities. The Code Procedures have been amended to set up a new power to seek representations on means in certain family cases (initially to be applied to a limited ranges of cases only - further guidance to follow) and set up new 'Special Controls' system and Review Panel (replacing PIAP and the MPA committee) for certain high cost and public interest cases.
The versions of the Code Criteria and Procedures attached to this page show all amendments with revision marks from the previous version. Criteria changes apply to new applications from 1 April 2010. Procedure changes apply to both existing and new cases from that date. Relevant sections of our Decision Making Guidance have also been updated.
Note that a proposal to exclude certain foreign cases from the scope of civil legal aid is not proceeding as part of this package and will await legislation.
Guidance on funding decisions
The Funding Code’s Decision Making Guidance helps inform legal aid practitioners.
It’s divided into:
- General funding principles
- Standard funding criteria
- Family guidance
- Non-family guidance
- Other guidance topics.
Relevant sections of this guidance have now been updated to reflect the Refocusing reforms described above.
The LSC Manual is a required reference tool and provides guidance for legal aid practitioners.
Read more about the LSC Manual.
We’ve set up an advisory panel to help make decisions on certain cases. With effect from 1 April 2010 the role of the Public Interest Advisory Panel will form part of the jurisdiction of a new Special Controls Review Panel. Public interest issues can affect:
- whether a case is within scope
- how the merits, cost benefit and affordability of a case should be approached.
Read more about Public Interest Reports.
Last updated: 06 April 2010