Reasonable Cause

If an applicant meets the financial requirement for legal aid, legal aid can be granted if the applicant is deemed to have reasonable cause to pursue litigation, cf. the Administration of Justice Act, s. 356.

When evaluating whether an applicant has reasonable cause to litigate, the importance of the case for the applicant is considered. Therefore, if the case is of great importance to the applicant, this is a strong argument for granting legal aid. However, if the case is of little significance for the defendant, this calls against granting legal aid. The importance of the case must be evaluated on objective circumstances with regard to the nature of the case and the circumstances of the applicant, and not according to the applicant’s subjective viewpoint. Cases regarding a person’s home, work or health are examples of cases that can be seen to objectively be of great importance to the applicant.

The prospects that the applicant will win his case is also of importance when evaluating whether there is reasonable cause to grant legal aid. If it is highly likely that the applicant will win the case, this is an argument for granting legal aid. Therefore, in order to sufficiently elucidate the case, it is very important that the applicant obtains and includes all relevant information in his or her application. For further information, see ”How do I apply and what should be included in my application?”

If the prospects for winning the case are low, this counts against granting legal aid.


Other considerations may be taken into account when determining whether to grant legal aid, e.g. the behaviour of the applicant in the emergence of the case as well as alternatives to litigation.

Furthermore, the scope of the case is also considered when determining whether an applicant has reasonable cause to pursue litigation. In principle, legal aid will be denied if the case is trivial. A case is deemed trivial if its financial value is less than DKK 3,000 and has no further consequences either for the applicant or others. However, note that this is the case when the applicant is the plaintiff in the case. In case the applicant is the defendant, the application for legal aid will be seen as an active consideration, since the applicant has been drawn into the case as a result of the plaintiff’s decision to pursue litigation.

How high the expected legal costs are expected to be is also considered in the evaluation.