Closed petition Stop legal aid for court appeals for people entering the UK illegally
We believe that using legal aid to fund court appeals cases for people who have entered the UK illegally is not the best use of tax payer money. We would like the Government to make sure people who enter the UK illegally are not eligible for legal aid.
We would prefer that tax payer money be spent on social care and other areas which are currently underfunded.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 7 February 2023
Anyone applying for legal aid in England and Wales is subject to strict eligibility criteria, and as a result, their legal issue must be in scope, and they must satisfy means and merit tests.
Thank you for taking the time to sign the e-petition: ‘'Stop legal aid for court appeals for people entering the UK illegally’
The Government has no current plans to change how legal aid eligibility is determined. The nationality of an individual, their immigration status, or the way in which someone entered the UK, does not have any bearing on their ability to access legal aid.
Anyone applying for legal aid in England and Wales is subject to strict eligibility criteria, and as a result, their legal issue must be in scope, and they must satisfy means and merit tests. The criteria for granting legal aid are set out by Parliament in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) and in secondary legislation made under the Act.
Parliament agreed when debating the scope of LASPO with the principle that legal aid funding should be targeted at those most in need and in full recognition of our commitments to international law.
The UK has specific obligations under the UN Refugee Convention, and Parliament agreed that legal aid should be available to support an individual through the asylum process.
Legal aid is a devolved matter in Scotland and Northern Ireland and is administered independently by the devolved governments rather than the UK government.
Ministry of Justice