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Law Centres Network meet in Belfast

The annual national conference for Law Centres was held in Belfast this year, with numerous delegates from Law Centres and partner organisations from across the UK and abroad.

The conference, on 10-11 November, addressed three main themes: human rights and their protection; migration and the challenge of supporting migrants in the UK; and the encroachment of populist politics on civil society.

The line-up of speakers has included Martha Spurrier, the newly appointed director of charity Liberty; Les Allamby, chief commissioner at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; Bernard McCloskey, the president of the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber, and Jonathan Price, associate researcher at COMPAS in the University of Oxford. 

For the first time, plenary sessions were broadcast live online and are now available through LCN's Facebook page

The conference has also included the Law Centres Network's annual general meeting.

Three accolades were awarded at the conference: 

  1. the Reita Clarke Memorial Award for Excellence went to Ealing Law Centre for their rapid development in just over 3 years of existence;
  2. the Olaronke Flora Williams Prize for Advancing Equalities went to immigration solicitor Rajitha Kumar of South West London Law Centre;
  3. a lifetime achievement award went to Professor Sara Chandler QC (Hons), a Law Centres stalwart and social justice campaigner for over four decades.  

For a summary of LCN's work and its impact in the year leading up to this conference, please read the latest annual review, 'More Than Our Sum', launched at the conference.

Photo: Northern Ireland Justice Minister Claire Sugden with Law Centres Network and Law Centre (NI) staff at the conference. Photo by Catherine Couvert

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