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Lord Justice Moses to hear Law Society judicial review

23 September 2010

A leading lord justice has been recruited to hear the Law Society’s judicial review challenge to the LSC’s tender of family legal aid contracts. The hearing, at the High Court, begins this morning.

Lord Justice Moses will hear the case with Mr Justice Beatson after Lord Justice Munby recused himself.

Moses LJ strongly criticised the previous government and the SFO in a High Court ruling in 2008, which held that the £43bn Al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia was unlawful.

In July this year, with Mr Justice Wyn Williams, Moses LJ allowed a judicial review on the rules for retaining DNA profiles and fingerprints to proceed directly from the High Court to the Supreme Court.

In its skeleton argument for today’s judicial review, the Law Society argued that the LSC’s decisions to award family contracts should be quashed and existing contracts extended until the tender could be handled in a “lawful manner”.

The society focused much of its attack on the “caseworker criterion” for this summer’s tender announced by the LSC in February 2010, which required certain solicitors to be panel members.

Dinah Rose QC, counsel for the society, argued that LSC evidence made it clear for the first time that the criterion was designed so it could not be satisfied by caseworkers simply applying to be on Law Society or Resolution panels, because they had to be members at the time.

Rose will argue that to conduct the tender in this way was “unfair, arbitrary and irrational”.

The judicial review hearing is expected to last for two days, with judgment expected early next week.

Categorised in:

Legal Aid Procedures Police & Prisons Costs