Further to my previous link, the parent's of 14 year old Molly Russell, who committed suicide after searching self-harm and suicide on social media platforms, have been successful in their appeal for Legal Aid.
The Russell's application for funding was initially refused by the Legal Aid Agency, who deemed it was not in the 'wider public interest' however, after coming under increasing pressure and scrutiny the Legal Aid Agency, upon appeal have reversed their decision, granting the Russell's funding for representation for inquest into their daughter's death, which it is expected will look at what more the technology companies could have done to make this information less accessible.
Unfortunately, it is the case that the Russell's were a rare exception in successfully appealing the refusal to grant funding, which was helped by public support, but how many other families in similar situations are not so fortunate?
Leigh Day solicitor Merry Varney welcomed the decision. However, she said it was disappointing that her clients had to appeal. 'Many other families are not successful in their appeals and cannot afford to bring a judicial review against the LAA. This leaves them either reliant on lawyers working for free, fundraising or having to represent themselves at their loved one’s inquest, completely unqualified and unprepared against experienced legal teams on the other side,' she said.