The High Court will tomorrow hand-down its judgment in the judicial review case brought by Maya Evans, a peace and human rights activist, challenging the decision of the Ministry of Justice to cut off legal aid funding for cases brought wholly in the public interest. At the time of this decision, in March 2010, a number of cases had been brought in the public interest challenging Government complicity in torture.
At the hearing on 5 April 2011 the court heard troubling evidence that the former Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Armed Forces personally and repeatedly intervened with the Ministry of Justice to ensure that these cases were cut off at their source. See The Guardian 5 April 2011.1
Judgment is handed-down tomorrow at 10am at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Speaking before the hearing on 5 April 2011, Maya Evans said:
“The Ministry of Defence has tried to cut off funding for politically inconvenient cases, but they have been caught in the act by the documents that have been disclosed in this case.”
Her solicitor, Daniel Carey, said:
“This case is not about savings for the public purse – the Ministry of Justice estimates that ruling out funding for these cases in the future will save between £50,000 to £100,000 per annum – that’s less than some MPs’ expenses claims. This case is all about the Government’s attempts to avoid accountability under the guise of cutting the deficit. Any such attempt should be wholly rejected by anyone who cares about the rule of law.”