Share experience and expertise, find out about resources, projects and developments and signpost others to yours.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is providing a service for advisers and those who support individuals with their problems. Do you want the chance to talk through a case involving equality or human rights issues? Experts at EHRC Adviser support are here to assist, through a telephone-based second tier advice service.
Advicelocal is a new postcode tool that can help with questions relating to seven areas of law - welfare benefits and tax credits; council tax; debt and money advice; housing and homelessness; employment and work issues; disability and social care; and asylum and immigration. Enter a postcode and choose an advice topic to find tailored information for a particular area, including key local authority resources and details of local independent advice organisations.
(December 2017) Please click here to see a specially prepared updated from HMCTS on their £1bn reform programme. In this update, HMCTS have set out by jurisdiction some of the key things they have already done and some of the things you can expect to see over the next 18 months.
All those eligible for employment tribunal fee refunds can apply from today, following a successful opening phase of the scheme. You can get a refund if you paid fees at an Employment Tribunal or Employment Appeals Tribunal between 29 July 2013 and 26 July 2017. The refund scheme comes after Ministers committed to reimbursing those who had paid employment tribunal fees following a Supreme Court judgment. The court recognised the important role fees can play, but ruled that the government had not struck the right balance in this case.
(Author: Richard Grimes, Editorial Board member, International Journal of Public Legal Education) Access to justice is not just about being able to find and afford a lawyer. Being aware of rights (and responsibilities) is an important component of the A2J debate. Legal literacy is vitally important both in terms of recognising problems and knowing what to do and where to go.
An invitation from the Bar Pro Bono Unit & LawWorks: Celebrate Christmas with Carols at Temple Church
Join two access to justice charities, the Bar Pro Bono Unit and LawWorks, for Christmas carols and readings on Monday 18th December 2017, at Temple Church. This beautiful and historic venue will provide a special backdrop for the evening held in the heart of legal London a week before Christmas. The evening will include Temple Church Choir singing a selection from Britten's Ceremony of Carols, sing-along congregation carols and seasonal readings from celebrity guests to get you into the festive spirit!
(Author: Andrew Hansard, Specialist Debt Adviser, RCJ Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Islington) It was a grey and dreary Thursday afternoon at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court where four Enfield Council employees armed with clipboards and a number ticket system await a growing crowd. They have issued over 500 Liability Order Summons for non-payment of Council Tax in October 2017 and they are expecting around 20 people to turn up...
Gov.UK guide on preparing to make arrangements and reaching an agreement. This guide may be useful if someone needs to make or change child arrangements (also known as contact, access or custody) with the other parent. For example, they may need to decide where their children will live or rearrange the times they see their parents.
Litigants in Person can claim £19 per hour for time they spend working on their case (or the actual financial loss if this can prove this). Costs can also be claimed for any advice given for free by lawyers as a pro bono cost order. Pro bono costs are just like ordinary legal costs, but applicable where a party received free legal representation. If a civil case is won with pro bono help, pro bono costs can be ordered by the court, or included in settlements. The pro bono costs must be paid to the prescribed charity, the Access to Justice Foundation, which distributes the money to agencies and projects that give free legal help to those in need. Front line agencies responsible for obtaining pro bono costs can expect to receive up to 50% of the costs recovered. Click here to find out more about Litigant in Person Costs and Pro Bono Cost Orders
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a grant scheme to help improve the quality and availability of advice across Great Britain. The are looking for applications from advice organisations that will use the funding to improve access to justice for the people they work with. Grants of £50,000 to £250,000 are available for schemes that aim to improve access to justice. The project should deliver an activity that organisations would otherwise have been unable to provide and meet one or both of the following criteria: improving the quality or quantity of discrimination or human rights advice; AND/OR improving information and knowledge sharing about discrimination and human rights in the advice sector, including information about the availability of advice and referral routes.
(Richard Silver, Consumer Affairs Policy Officer, Solicitors Regulation Authority) The SRA have recently published a new consultation which we are hoping will herald some big changes in the solicitor world, and make all the difference to people when they have legal problems and need help. (open for comment until 20 December).
Trust for London’s 2017 edition of the London Poverty Profile has been released and its’ website has been re-vamped so that all of the latest data on poverty and inequality in London can be found in an easy and readable form. This may be useful for agencies making funding applications. KEY FINDINGS: 27% of Londoners are living in poverty (after housing costs); 50% of London's wealth is owned by the top 10%. 58% of Londoners in poverty live in a working family. This is a 50% increase over the last decade.
If you are looking for legal or non-legal volunteers or if you are looking to volunteer yourself, please visit the National Pro Bono Centre volunteer portal.
This year's National Pro Bono Week is 6 -11th November. To find out what is happen and how to get involved, during the week and beyond, please click here visit the National Pro Bono Centre website.
(Author Lizzie Irons, Head of Service, the Personal Support Unit) As we head into the autumn, we are taking stock, with each PSU writing a progress report for April to September 2017. The most surprising news is not the overall increase in client contacts over the period, but the fact that for over a third of our services (8 of 21) recorded client contacts peaked in August, reaching the highest client contact figures to date. Gone are the days when the summer represented a dip in workload and a short breathing space.
The Home Office are offering a Assisted Digital service to support customers who need digital help to complete their immigration application online. The service does not offer immigration advice but is available to those who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to complete an online immigration application form.
(22nd September 2017) Our criminal justice system is fiercesomely complicated – so complex that the Law Commission has proposed a massive simplification of criminal law...Read more.
(Author Jamie Goldsmith, Pro Bono Connect) Barristers and solicitors often do pro bono cases separately. Sometimes that is appropriate, but- for litigation in particular- it is much more efficient and effective to work together as a team. That is what happens in paid litigation: so why not pro bono cases too? Pro Bono Connect brings the two halves of the profession together.
(Author: Hugh McFaul, Open Justice) Reminiscent of the tag line for a well-known Dutch beer, The Open University prides itself on teaching students that other higher education institutions may struggle to reach. A clear example is The OU’s longstanding partnership with the UK prisons; studying for an OU degree is often the only realistic path to a degree for serving prisoners. Students who have completed degrees in prison testify to the positive impact this can have on their life inside, as well as post release, and the OU graduation ceremonies held within prisons are particularly inspirational.
Pinnington Law have created a glossary to help people understand the legal processes involved in divorce or separation proceedings. From the various technical terms involved in court proceedings and legal documents to the different child arrangement orders and agreements for which people can apply.