Pump Court Chambers

Top judge blasts legal aid delays in child case

News 2nd March 2015

Leslie Samuels QC recently appeared in Re D is: RE D (A CHILD) (NO.2) [2015] EWFC 2, where Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, criticised the delays in processing the parents’ public funding applications and said that the parents could be forgiven for thinking they were trapped in a system that was ‘neither compassionate nor even humane’. It had taken nine months for parents with learning difficulties to be granted legal aid to contest the removal of their son from their care. The President said that these delays had been unconscionable. The parents had only been able to avail themselves of the professional assistance they needed by the goodwill and charity of the legal profession. He said that this state of affairs was ‘both unprincipled and unconscionable’.

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