Law Centre NI

Law Centre (NI)

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


Welcome to our August 2012 e-newsletter.  We hope that you find it useful. Please feel free to circulate to interested colleagues within your organisation.

Follow the links for these recent publications:

-    Casework bulletin 2012 No 1

-     Policy bulletin No 12 June 2012

-     Community are briefing No 14 revised social services duties to provide accommodation and other services to migrants

If this newsletter does not display properly, click on this link: August 2012 HTML version.




BIPP project

Migrant workers guides launch

Training courses

ESOL classes for asylum seekers

Employment law roundtable

Community care


Follow us on Twitter: @LawCentreNI

Belfast Integration and Participation Project launched at City Hall

Law Centre Assistant Director (Casework) Jennifer Greenfield

Belfast Integration and Participation Project was launched at Belfast City Hall on Tuesday 31 July.

A partnership between Belfast City Council, Gems (NI) and Law Centre (NI), the project aims to improve the integration and participation of migrant and ethnic communities in the city.

Speakers included Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson, Nick Garbutt of Asitis Consulting, Alan Morrow, Chair of the project’s steering committee and speakers from participating organisations. 

Jennifer Greenfield, Assistant Director Casework and Training, presented the Law Centre's role in the project. The Law Centre will develop an online guide on migrant workers social security rights and train advisers on right to reside test within social security; access to health, social care and housing for persons from abroad; Universal Credit, its rules on right to reside and access of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals.

We will also run practitioner focus groups identifying current and emerging issues for advisers and other practitioners working with migrant and minority ethnic people.

GEMS NI will work at fostering integration and participation through developing economic opportunities, while South Belfast Roundtable will concentrate on the social aspect of integration and on awareness training.

More info:, email or phone 9033 2313.


Launch: Your Rights in Northern Ireland

On Monday 13 August, we will celebrate the publication of the translated versions of the new edition of Your Rights in Northern Ireland.

Introduced by OFMDFM Junior Minister Jonathan Bell MLA and NIHRC Chief Commissioner Michael O’Flaherty, the launch will be followed by light refreshments. If you would like to attend, contact:

The translations (in Polish, Slovak, Lithuanian, Romanian, Latvian, Russian, Chinese, Bulgarian and Brazilian Portuguese) are on, and NI Direct. 

In response to demand, the Polish version is available in print.  There is also a poster publicising the online versions.  If you would like to display these or distribute to your users, contact our publications officer. Copies will be sent to you free of charge.


Enrol now for Law Centre courses

Law Centre (NI) Training Officer Eamon Docherty

8 August: Refresher – Disability Related Benefits – Belfast

15 August: Refresher – Disability Related Benefits – Derry

6 September: Completing Disability Forms – DLA and ESA Best Practice – Derry

20 September: Completing Disability Forms – DLA and ESA Best Practice – Belfast

25 September: Representing Clients at Mental Health Review Tribunals – Derry

2 October: Representing Clients at Mental Health Review Tribunals – Belfast

8 October: Redundancy, Lay Off and Employer Insolvency – Belfast

9 October: Welfare Rights Adviser Programme – 8 days – Derry

25 October: Tribunal Representation – 6 days - Derry

All our courses carry CPD points for solicitors, barristers and CAB advisers.

For more details, visit the training section of our website, contact, 028 7126 2433 or view our training programme


Free language classes for asylum seekers

Following lobbying of the Department for Employment and Learning by the Law Centre and partners, courses in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) will be available free of charge to asylum seekers in Northern Ireland.

The new regime will apply, on a pilot basis, from September 2012 for the academic year.


Employment law review

DEL roundtable speakers

On 15 June, Law Centre (NI) hosted a  discussion on the DEL paper on review of employment law in Northern Ireland.

The event was attended by representatives of advice agencies, trade unions and employer organisations. It provided an opportunity to explore the options for Northern Ireland in light of the present review in Britain.

The problems created by the current tribunal system for resolving workplace disputes, exacerbated by the lack of access to independent advice, were discussed. A range of appropriate solutions were explored and there was broad agreement that there is an important opportunity to create a regime tailored to the needs of Northern Ireland.

Our response to the discussion paper will be available on our website in the next few days. There will be a full consultation on the employment law review in the autumn.


Support for vulnerable young adult

Our community care unit recently worked with a vulnerable young adult with Asperger’s who has suicidal tendencies. She was previously known to social services but her support had ended after leaving secondary school.  Following correspondence with the trust, an up to date assessment of her mental health needs was arranged.  The trust has now put in place a befriending service to help her with social and financial skills and improve her self confidence.