In the Matter of an Application by RMcC for Leave to Apply for Judicial Review
And in the matter of a decision of the Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland
And in the matter of decisions of the Department of Justice
The Applicant was refused an oral hearing in respect of the refusal of emergency legal aid. The Applicant now seeks a declaration that specific regulations within The Civil Legal Services (Appeal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 are procedurally unfair, unlawful, ultra vires and of no force or effect.
In all the circumstances of the case it is submitted that the decisions of the Respondent to refuse the Applicant’s appeal and to refuse his request for an oral hearing, were irrational, unlawful and unfair. It is also said that Regulations within The Civil Legal Services (Appeal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 breach Article 6 of the ECHR by failing to give individuals appealing a refusal of an emergency application for civil legal aid an absolute right to an oral hearing.
This is a case of huge public interest. The case raises complex human rights issues and ultimately it brings to the fore the notion of access to justice. The case will proceed to full hearing early next year.