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Consultation Responses: Social Justice / Legal services


Law Centre response to the UN Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty and Human Rights - September 2018

We urge Professor Philip Alston, the Rapporteur for Extreme Poverty and Human Rights to visit Northern Ireland to hear from the Welfare Reform Group and others about our concerns around Universal Credit, procedural and administrative fairness, Brexit, austerity and migrant/asylum seekers issues.


The Executive Office - programme for government 2016-2021 - December 2016

We build on recommendations in our previous response. We urge the Northern Ireland Executive to prioritise improving childcare infrastructure, to commit to safeguarding access to independent advice, to tackle zero hour contracts and to seek to protect the rights of European nationals living in Northern Ireland.

Gillen Review of Civil Justice December 2016

We welcome the bold recommendations proposed by the Gillen Review of Civil Justice. Where possible, we would like the proposed innovations to be applied to the Tribunal system (not just to the courts)

The Executive Office - programme for government framework 2016-2021 July 2016

We commend the department for what this draft Programme for Government is trying to achieve.

We make a number of suggestions for additional indicators and measures.

We look forward to the publication of the action plans, which are essential in order to make these ideas real and meaningful. 


DoJ - Scope of Civil Legal Aid January 2015

The Law Centre's preferred position is that DoJ does not remove employment, immigration or social security from the scope of civil legal aid. If DoJ does proceed with the current proposals then:

  • DOJ must recognise that advice organisations rely on Green Form to fund interpreters and expert reports. Additional funding will need to be available;
  • a system for applying for funding on an exceptional basis needs to be devised. The Low Commission has made detailed suggestions on how to simplify the GB exceptional funding scheme – this might be a useful starting point.



DFP - Draft Legal Complaints and Regulation Bill 2013 February 2014

We make a number of suggestions for improving legal complaints including: extending the powers of the Legal Services Oversight Commissioner; ensuring that Bar Council and Law Society appointments are publicly advertised; recognising that legal redress is not always the desired outcome; and increasing the amounts of compensation.



OFMDFM - 'Towards a Childcare Strategy' March 2013



Draft Programme for Government February 2012



Fundamental Legal Aid Review: Access to Justice in Northern Ireland  February 2011

This is the law Centre’s response to the Fundamental Legal Aid Review for Northern Ireland initiated by the justice minister David Ford and covers areas of civil legal aid that impacts on the law Centre’s work.



Northern Ireland Law Commission 2nd Programme of Law Reform  November 2010

OFMDFM Pre-Consultation: 'Starting the Discussion' - A Child Poverty Strategy for Northern Ireland  October 2010

We welcome David Ford’s announced review of prisons in Northern Ireland. We raise a number of issues affecting Foreign National  Prisoners.

The Law Centre is disappointed with the Government’s proposals for a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. The exclusion of economic and social rights fails to protect and benefit the people of Northern Ireland and especially those who are most disadvantaged. The Government should not make the enactment of a comprehensive Bill of Rights dependent on the GB-wide rights and responsibilities debate.



We welcome the Legal Services Commission’s commitment to ensure that public funds are directed at targeting social need.  We urge the Commission to take this work forward by developing community legal services and reviewing the financial eligibility for legal aid.



Law Commission's First Programme of Law Reform  November 2008

Strategy for the Development of Community Legal Services March 2008

Financial Eligibility of Civil Legal Aid in NI  February 2008

Draft Programme for NI and Draft Budget  January 2008



Unclaimed Assets Distribution Mechanism  August 2007

Equality Impact Assessment: Civil Fees Proposal  July 2007

A Funding Code for NI  February 2007



Strategy to Promote Equality, Good Relations and Human Rights  December 2006

Promoting Positive Attitudes Towards Disabled People  December 2006

Bill of Rights Forum  November 2006

Revision of Fees for Civil Business November 2006

Proposal for an Order in Council: The Charities (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 October 2006

Getting Equal: Proposals to Outlaw Sexual Orientation Discrimination September 2006

Disability Discrimination Order September 2006

Prior Authority for Senior Counsel in High Court and Family Care Centre Litigations July 2006

A strategy for the voluntary sector June 2006

A Strategy for Supporting Delivery of Voluntary Advice Services to the Community April 2006

Regulation of Legal Services in NI Consultation Paper January 2006



Judicial Review Liaison Group Draft Practice Note Sept 2005



Civil Partnership Consultation March 2004

Audit Report on NI Court Service Judicial Appointments February 2004



Citizen Ceremonies Consultation September 2003

Legal Aid Committee on Fees for Immigration Work September 2003



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