Share experience and expertise, find out about resources, projects and developments and signpost others to yours.
Earlier this year, Hastings-based seAp won the 2017 Charity Times Award for their ground-breaking online web app which enables people across England and Scotland to access their expertise digitally. The organisation, which provides advocacy for people needing help to access their rights, beat seven other organisations – including the National Trust and Age UK – to win the award for the best use of technology.
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.
(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.
(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...
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.
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.
(Author: Ella Playfair, National Pro Bono Week Committee) The dates of this year’s NPBW are confirmed as Monday 6 – Saturday 11 November, and for the first time we have added spotlights on the themes of health and education issues and how they interrelate with pro bono.
Melissa Mohndoro, Trainee Solicitor at RCJ Advice discusses the Supreme Court's decision to abolish Employment Tribunal fees. "The Employment Tribunals exist to provide a simple means for individuals to challenge the decisions of employers that affect their civil rights. In spite of the ever-increasing complexity of modern employment law, a great many citizens pursue claims in the employment tribunal as a litigant in person.
LawWorks have been working with stakeholders and partners to present compelling evidence to the new Justice Select Committee as part of the overall review process considering legal aid reforms. The stakeholder group has included Advice UK, the Advice Services Alliance, Coram Children's Legal Centre, Mind, JustRights, Legal Aid Practitioners Group, Law Centres Network, the Legal Action Group, London Legal Support Trust, the Personal Support Unit, Youth Access, the Bar Council, and the Immigration Practitioners Group.
FLEX (Focus on Labour Exploitation) have published a Guide to Legal Remedies for Victims of Trafficking for Labour Exploitation. The guide recognises that access to legal remedies for victims of human trafficking is about more than compensation, and that access to justice relies on access to legal assistance and support. The aim of the Guide is to provide practical information that can assist service providers in informing victims about their legal options and directing them towards legal advice.
(September 2017) The Legal Action Group have published a summary of The UK government’s position on migration post-Brexit as set out in its policy paper.