Law Centre NI

Law Centre (NI)

promoting social justice through legal advice,
representation, policy, training and publications

Welcome to our April newsletter.

The Employment Act (NI) 2011 took effect on 3 April. From 1 May, A8 nationals will have the same rights as other EU nationals.  We will update you on these important developments in future articles and briefings.  Meanwhile, you can read about them in Frontline 79's policy pages.

We are very grateful for the positive feedback from our recent membership survey.  Read about it here:

100% say membership is value for money

Feedback on our newsletter is always welcome.  Please pass it on to interested colleagues.


April 2011   

  • New training programme
  • New publications
  • UKBA fees increased
  • Judicial independence
  • ESA victory at Commissioners

Sign up for our new courses

Employment legal adviser Daire Murphy delivers training on employment lawThe Law Centre's training programme for 2011-2012 will be on line from Friday 11 April.

Our new courses reflect changes in social security, community care, mental health, employment and immigration law and aim to update advisers' skills and knowledge from the initial research stage to representing at tribunal.

There are special offers for some combined courses, and for groups that have limited financial means.

Don't miss your chance! Use the online application forms to book a place now.

Law Centre (NI) courses count towards CPD requirements and are linked to National Occupational Standards.

New publications

Frontline 79 cover: participants in International Women's Day 100 years celebrations rally

Our quarterly magazine Frontline has just been redesigned.  With a special feature on how Stormont can pick up the pieces of budget cuts.  You can read it and past issues in the publications section of our website:

Frontline magazine

New community care briefing:

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups - Human Rights Act and the Barring and Vetting Scheme

New immigration briefing:

HJ (Iran), a fundamental shift in asylum law

Important updates to our information on the immigration rights of spouses, partners and families of UK and EEA citizens:

UK rules

EEA regulations

Our latest policy bulletin:

Policy Bulletin No 10, March 2011



New immigration fees

The UK Border Agency has increased its fees for people applying to visit, study, work or live in the UK, starting from 6 April.

For a full list of fees, visit:

Safeguarding judicial independence

Attorney General John Larkin QC at the Law Centre's AGMThe Law Centre, the Attorney General's Office and the University of Ulster School of Law will hold a joint half-day conference on judicial independence on 24 June at the Inns of Court, Belfast.

Speakers include Anne Parr, a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, and the Attorney General John Larkin QC.

For more information, contact Ann Cartwright at our Belfast office.

ESA case victory

In one of the first Employment and Support Allowance appeals to reach Commissioner level in Northern Ireland, Commissioner Mullan overturned the appeal tribunal's decision and decided that our client did pass the stringent ESA test for Limited Capability for Work.

Our client has a serious injury to his right hand which left him unable to grip and to form a fist with that hand.  The Department had not disputed the very real problem that he had with his right hand but had argued that, under the test, his manual dexterity was not a factor when considering his ability to pick up.

The appeals process has taken two years, but our client is delighted that his perseverance has led to a positive outcome.

Read more