In brief: Mackay legal aid refusal to be reviewed

A judicial review that could revolutionise legal aid availability for tribunal cases has been given the go-ahead by a High Court judge. On 11 April, the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) was granted leave to challenge the Lord Chancellor's refusal to allow legal aid for any social tribunal and commissioner cases. Lord Mackay was asked by the CPAG last November to make legal aid available for some social security appeals, but refused on the grounds of self-imposed budgetary constraints. The CPAG's legal officer David Thomas said: “Social security has become so complicated that some claimants have little chance of getting justice unless they are represented. The Lord Chancellor really accepted this in his Legal Aid Green Paper, but still refused to extend legal aid.”