Legal aid rules for domestic violence 'legally flawed', court rules

The Court of Appeal has ruled that government changes to legal aid rules in domestic violence cases are "legally flawed".

Campaigners argued that large numbers of women who endured rape and violence were being unlawfully excluded from obtaining legal aid forcing some to face their abusers in court without representation.

Three appeal judges ruled the changes, which required verification of domestic violence over a two year period, as "invalid".

They also ruled the changes were flawed because they excluded victims of domestic violence who have suffered from financial abuse.

Campaign group, Rights of Women (ROW), which appealed against a High Court judgement that upheld the changes as lawful said the ruling was "potentially life-saving".

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson, said the government was "determined to ensure victims of domestic violence can get legal aid whenever they need it," and claimed it had already been made easier for victims to claim.