PLP fighting fund


PLP won the residence test case in the Supreme Court.  Our press release is in the news section, here.

Massive thanks to all that contributed and supported us through all the courts.  We have now closed the fighting fund.

The below remains until we can replace with a historical overview of the case.

The Public Law Project continues to fight the Government’s attempt to impose a residence test on legal aid. We are currently appealing to the Supreme Court. The case has been expedited and listed for hearing on 18th and 19th April 2016.

The proposed residence test is an extraordinary attack on access to justice, and access to the courts, which will deny some of the most meritorious cases a hearing.  This case goes to the heart of the proud principle that all those who are subject to English law are equal before it, whether they are British nationals or not.

More information about the case and why you should donate to the fighting fund:

In July 2014 the Public Law Project, acting as claimant and represented by Bindmans LLP, won an important victory for access to justice in preventing the Government from introducing a residence test for legal aid.  The judgment restated the proud principle that all those who are subject to English law are equal before it, whether they are British nationals or not. Our press release, which provides further detail, is here.

However, in light of the public interest in the case, the Government was given leave to appeal.  The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and PLP had to pay the Lord Chancellor’s legal costs, capped at £10,000 by a protective costs order (PCO).  Following the Court of Appeal’s judgment, the Government plans to introduce the residence test later this year (possibly summer 2016). PLP applied to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal and for a further PCO.  TWe were granted permission and the case has been expedited; it will be heard by The Supreme Court on 18th and 19th April  2016.  We have also been granted a further PCO of £15,000.

We are now collecting further pledges from supporters to cover a portion of this further PCO. We are, as ever, profoundly grateful to the individuals and organisations that have come forward to pledge support for this extraordinarily important case. Without your support, PLP may not have been able to bring this case at all, or continue it to this stage. 

To make a ring-fenced donation, click the donate button below. Please only pledge money if you are confident you will be able to give it! It will be better for us to us have the certainty of a low donation than an uncertain pledge of a higher amount.

Please note that the online payment system from CAF does not accept spaces when inputting phone numbers.

Please also note that we will be unable to send a thank you message unless you request to be kept informed (one the contact details page of the donation site)

To pledge please send an e-mail to Joe Vester at

I know of no duty of the court which is more important to observe, and no power of the court which is more important to enforce, than its power of keeping public bodies within their rights.

Lindley MR in Roberts v Gwyrfai District Council [1899]