R (on the application of The Public Law Project) v Lord Chancellor [2016] UKSC 39

By this judgment, seven justices unanimously restored a declaration of the High Court that Parliament had not granted a power to the Lord Chancellor to introduce a residence test for civil legal aid by way of delegated legislation under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. The exclusion of a specific group from the right to receive legal services on the ground of personal circumstances, which had nothing to do with the nature of the services involved or the individual’s need or ability to pay for the services, was not within the scope of the power granted to the Lord Chancellor by Parliament to ‘vary or omit’ services by delegated legislation. The draft order put before Parliament was therefore unlawful.