Consultation Responses: Social Justice / Legal services
The Executive Office - programme for government 2016-2021 - December 2016
We build on recommendations in our previous response. We urge the Northern Ireland Executive to prioritise improving childcare infrastructure, to commit to safeguarding access to independent advice, to tackle zero hour contracts and to seek to protect the rights of European nationals living in Northern Ireland.
Gillen Review of Civil Justice December 2016
We welcome the bold recommendations proposed by the Gillen Review of Civil Justice. Where possible, we would like the proposed innovations to be applied to the Tribunal system (not just to the courts)
We commend the department for what this draft Programme for Government is trying to achieve.
We make a number of suggestions for additional indicators and measures.
DoJ - Scope of Civil Legal Aid January 2015
The Law Centre's preferred position is that DoJ does not remove employment, immigration or social security from the scope of civil legal aid. If DoJ does proceed with the current proposals then:
- DOJ must recognise that advice organisations rely on Green Form to fund interpreters and expert reports. Additional funding will need to be available;
- a system for applying for funding on an exceptional basis needs to be devised. The Low Commission has made detailed suggestions on how to simplify the GB exceptional funding scheme – this might be a useful starting point.
DFP - Draft Legal Complaints and Regulation Bill 2013 February 2014
We make a number of suggestions for improving legal complaints including: extending the powers of the Legal Services Oversight Commissioner; ensuring that Bar Council and Law Society appointments are publicly advertised; recognising that legal redress is not always the desired outcome; and increasing the amounts of compensation.
OFMDFM - 'Towards a Childcare Strategy' March 2013
Draft Programme for Government February 2012
This is the law Centre’s response to the Fundamental Legal Aid Review for Northern Ireland initiated by the justice minister David Ford and covers areas of civil legal aid that impacts on the law Centre’s work.
We welcome David Ford’s announced review of prisons in Northern Ireland. We raise a number of issues affecting Foreign National Prisoners.
The Law Centre is disappointed with the Government’s proposals for a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. The exclusion of economic and social rights fails to protect and benefit the people of Northern Ireland and especially those who are most disadvantaged. The Government should not make the enactment of a comprehensive Bill of Rights dependent on the GB-wide rights and responsibilities debate.
We welcome the Legal Services Commission’s commitment to ensure that public funds are directed at targeting social need. We urge the Commission to take this work forward by developing community legal services and reviewing the financial eligibility for legal aid.
Law Commission's First Programme of Law Reform November 2008
Financial Eligibility of Civil Legal Aid in NI February 2008
Draft Programme for NI and Draft Budget January 2008
Unclaimed Assets Distribution Mechanism August 2007
A Funding Code for NI February 2007
Promoting Positive Attitudes Towards Disabled People December 2006
Bill of Rights Forum November 2006
Revision of Fees for Civil Business November 2006
Disability Discrimination Order September 2006
A strategy for the voluntary sector June 2006
Civil Partnership Consultation March 2004
Audit Report on NI Court Service Judicial Appointments February 2004
Citizen Ceremonies Consultation September 2003
Legal Aid Committee on Fees for Immigration Work September 2003