In the JR taken by the Public Law Project, the residence test has been declared unlawful in no uncertain terms by the Divisional Court. The judgment, which was unanimous and runs to 40 pages, is expressed in robust terms:
Lord Justice Moses said: …..’it is not possible to justify such discrimination in an area where all are equally subject to the law, resident or not, and equally entitled to its protection, resident or not.’
He also said: .. ‘the instrument is ultra vires and unlawful. I conclude that LASPO does not permit such a criterion to be introduced by secondary legislation. It extends the scope and purpose of the statute and is, accordingly, outwith the power conferred…..’
We hope that the MOJ would be discouraged from any appeal, having read the judgment, and the residence test will be immediately withdrawn rather than postponed pending an appeal.
You can read the PLP press release here.