Law Centre NI

Law Centre (NI)

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

Welcome to our July newsletter.


We hope you have a sunny, relaxing summer. Before going off on your holidays, why not book your autumn training?  


Your feedback is always welcome. Please circulate this information to interested colleagues.


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July 2011



Frontline 80

Autumn courses

Forced labour

Dual nationals and immigration

Unpaid compensation

Judicial independence

Housing Benefit consultation

 Frontline 80 now on line

Frontline 80 cover


Frontline 80 is now on line, with a special focus on housing debt, repossession and the impact of cuts in mortgage protection.


Read it here

 Autumn training

WRAP training session

All our courses carry CPD points.

Western Area

6 Sept – Completing Disability Forms: DLA and ESA Best Practice

15 Sept - Representing at Mental Health Review Tribunals

For more information on Derry courses, contact


15 Sept - Completing Disability Forms: DLA and ESA Best Practice

20 Sept to 19 Oct - Tribunal Representation (six days)

22 Sept - Representing at Mental Health Review Tribunals

For more information on Belfast courses, contact


 Forced labour in Northern Ireland

The Law Centre has contributed to a new Joseph Rowntree Foundation report, Forced Labour in Northern Ireland: Exploiting Vulnerability

Published in June, this study explores the extent of forced labour among new migrants to Northern Ireland and outlines a number of recommendations for tackling the problem. It reviews the experiences of migrants working in a range of employment sectors who have experienced serious forms of exploitation, including some examples of forced labour.

The authors are Les Allamby, John Bell, Jennifer Hamilton, Ulf Hannson, Neil Jarman, Michael Potter and Sorina Toma. 

Find it here


Unpaid compensation

Gillian Robinson

Last year, the Industrial Tribunal awarded Law Centre client Gillian Robinson £27,180.55 in compensation after finding that she had been subjected to pregnancy related harassment and discrimination and ultimately forced to resign.  Thirteen months later, she has not received a penny of this.

The case highlights some of the difficulties in enforcing tribunal awards.

Read more


  Dual nationals and their non-EU dependants

The Law Centre has now had three appeals determined in light of the Court of Justice of the European Union judgement in McCarthy vs United Kingdom. The Court in McCarthy ruled that dual nationals who have not moved from one member state to another cannot benefit from EU free movement law.

Two judges allowed appeals involving European Union law and dual British/Irish nationals and their non-EEA spouse, while another judge dismissed the appeal on the basis of McCarthy.

Read more


 Judicial independence takes centre stage

Judge Anne Power speaking at the Judicial Independence Conference

A conference examining the issue of judicial independence was held on Friday 24 June in the Inn of Court, Belfast. 

The conference was organised by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland and Law Centre (NI), with help from the University of Ulster School of Law.

John F Larkin, QC, Attorney General said, ‘The conference was an opportunity to hear from prominent international speakers on the subject of Judicial Independence, which is currently at the forefront of both local and international debate’.

 Read more

 Planned cuts for under 35s Housing Benefit

We recently responded to a Social Security Advisory Committee request for evidence on the Department for Work and Pensions’ proposals for the Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2011. 

The proposals would change the definition of a ‘young individual’ for Housing Benefit purposes, so that it would cover people under the age of 35, rather than 25 as now. 

‘Young individuals’ only receive Housing Benefit for a room in a shared house. The current average Local Housing Rate for this is around £40 per week.

There are 5,892 single claimants aged between 25 and 34 currently receiving the ‘one bedroom house’ rate who could face an estimated weekly reduction of £24.50.

Our response highlighted the potential negative impact on particular groups such as people with mental health issues, care leavers, ex prisoners and single men and women who have non-resident children.

Read our response here