Law Centre NI

Law Centre (NI)

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

Welcome to our September 2013 e-newsletter.  We hope that you find it useful. Please feel free to circulate to interested colleagues.

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Social justice lecture

Community care seminars

Impact of welfare reform

New courses

Asylum case success

Social justice lecture: law as a tool for social change

Seminar flyer

Law Centre (NI)'s inaugural social justice lecture: Law as a Tool for Social Change, takes place on 26 September, 4.30 to 6pm, Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast. Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan will introduce a keynote lecture by Martyn Day.

Martyn Day is the senior partner at London-based solicitors Leigh Day. He heads the firm’s international claims team which brings legal actions on behalf of people, primarily in the developing world, against multi-national corporations and government.

A former Chair of Greenpeace in the UK and Chem Trust, he now is a Trustee of the Greenpeace Environmental Trust. He is an Executive Committee Member of the Society of Labour Lawyers and a fellow of Association of Personal Injuries Lawyers.

He regularly writes and speaks around the world on environmental and justice issues to try and encourage a greater use of the law to hold multi-nationals to account.

Transforming Your Care seminars

Rights in Community Care will hold the first of a series of seminars on Transforming Your Care on Friday 6 September, 10.15am to 12.20pm, at Disability Action, Portside Business Park, 189 Airport Road West, Belfast.

Rights in Community Care Group (RICC) is an umbrella group of organisations including Law Centre (NI), Carers Northern Ireland, Age NI, UNISON, Disability Action and Alzheimer’s Society.

The first seminar will explore how equality and human rights are translated into care and service delivery.   

The aim is to stimulate debate with key stakeholders about how equality and human rights are translated into care and service delivery against the emphasis in Transforming Your Care program on the personalisation of care, placing the individual at the centre, integrated care, improved communication between services and a joined up approach in care provision.  

For more information, contact Michelle McCoy at Disability Action 9029 7880 or talk to our Policy unit.

Economic impact of welfare reform

Members of the Northern Ireland Advice Services Consortium (Law Centre (NI), Citizen’s Advice, Advice NI) will join forces with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action to hold a conference on welfare reform and the impact on the local economy on Thursday 3 October, 9.30am to 2.30pm, at NICVA, 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast.

Professor Christina Beattie and Professor Steve Fothergill from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research in Sheffield Hallam University will present the findings of research commissioned by NICVA on the impact of welfare reform. 

Imran Hussain, from the Child Action Poverty Group and Cecilia Keaveney from the Chartered Institute of Housing will provide an update on the impact of welfare reform in GB over the past year and draw conclusions on the likely impact in Northern Ireland. Les Allamby of the Law Centre will give an analysis of welfare reform in Northern Ireland.

This will be followed by a panel discussion with representatives of political, public, private, voluntary and community sectors.

For more info, contact  or ring the Law Centre's policy unit.

Time to learn: new Law Centre courses

Trainer and participants on Welfare Rights Adviser Programme

19 September

Representing clients at mental health review tribunals, Western Area

Carers and their rights, Belfast

24 September 

Representing at mental health review tribunals, Derry

Social Security - seeking work, other requirements and sanctions, Belfast

26 September

Representing at mental health tribunals, Belfast

3 October 

European law and immigration, Belfast

Understanding Universal Credit, Western Area

7 October 

Redundancy, lay-off and employer insolvency, Belfast

8 October to 26 November 

Welfare Rights Adviser Programme, Western Area (eight day course)

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

Download our full training programme here

For more details, visit the training section of our website email, or phone 028 7126 2433.

Sudanese family protected from removal

In a lead case taken by the Law Centre, the High Court in Belfast has ruled that a Sudanese family should not be returned from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic and face the possibility of deportation back to Sudan.

This was the first of 38 cases before the High Court, where Sudanese individuals and families who moved from the Republic to Northern Ireland are challenging a decision by the Home Office to return them to the Republic under the Dublin II Convention. The Convention allows countries to remove applicants to the country where the original asylum claim was made. 

Based on independent in-country reports, the UK position is that it is not safe to return non-Arab Darfuris to Sudan. As a result asylum is normally granted to applicants.  In the Republic of Ireland, non-Arab Darfuris are not automatically granted asylum and can therefore be deported. 

The judgement upheld the argument that the best interests of the children were served by remaining in Northern Ireland and the decision to remove the family was quashed.

The judge also considered the issue of the treatment of asylum seekers in the Republic of Ireland, citing independent reports detailing deficiencies in the Republic’s treatment of asylum seekers and the low rate of success with appeals, although he ruled that these did not amount to ‘systemic deficiencies’.

Read more.