Law Centre NI

Law Centre (NI)

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

Welcome to our May newsletter.

Download the new 2011-2012 Law Centre Business Plan.

Also available - 2011-2012 Law Centre Training Programme.

Feedback is always welcome.  Please circulate this information to interested colleagues.


May 2011 highlights   

End of A8 restrictions welcomed

The Worker Registration Scheme officially ended on 30 April. 

Over the lifespan of the scheme, the Law Centre dealt with a significant number of cases of destitution amongst migrant workers from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia (A8 nationals) who, under the scheme, had restricted access to social security support. 

We continue to advise A8 nationals who experience difficulties with claiming benefits.  We also continue to lobby for effective support for other migrant workers from Romania, Bulgaria and from outside the European Union who still face restricted access to social security benefits.

Read more

Welfare Reform Bill

The Welfare Reform Bill continues in Committee at Westminster and we have met with local MPs to discuss the potential implications in NI.  

Along with Action for Children and Gingerbread NI, we supported amendments to the Bill that would ensure that people with dependent children would not be sanctioned when they are unable to take up work due to a lack of quality, affordable childcare.  This is in recognition of the lack of childcare in Northern Ireland that supports parents to enter the labour market. 

Follow the Westminster Bill here.


Judicial independence conference

Speakers are now confirmed for the 24 June conference on judicial independence. 

Organised by the Attorney General's Office and Law Centre (NI) with the support of the University of Ulster School of Law, the conference will be held at the Inns of Court, Belfast.

Speakers include Sir Declan Morgan, Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Judge Ann Power, Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, Gregor Vollkommer, Justice Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union, Prof. Anne-Lise Sibony, University of Li├Ęge, and John Larkin QC, Attorney General for Northern Ireland.

For more information, contact Ann Cartwright

Law Centre case: DLA and adaptations


We recently took a case to the Chief Social Security Commissioner for a client whose rate of DLA care had been decided by a tribunal on the basis of aids and adaptations she did not actually have. 

The case was referred to us by Ligoniel Improvement Association.

The Chief Commissioner decided the tribunal had got it wrong and allowed the appeal.  He has  referred the case to another tribunal to be looked at again.

The decision means that a tribunal will have to make a decision on:

- what aids and adaptations would be available to a person; and

- whether an Occupational Therapy Department would be likely to provide the aids or carry out the adaptations within six months from the date of the decision under appeal.


Book now for May and June training

All our courses carry CPD points.

20 May: Community Care & The Law - Derry

26 May: Community Care & the Law - Belfast

1 June:  Advising Migrant Workers - Derry

9 June: Citizen Directive 2004/38/EC & Immigration (EEA) Regs 2006 - UK & ECJ Caselaw Update - Belfast (with Simon Cox, Doughty Street Chambers, London)

10 June: European Law and Social Security Update - Belfast (with Simon Cox, Doughty Street Chambers, London)

15 June: Pregnancy and Benefits - Derry

17 June: Immigration and Criminal Justice - Belfast (with Hugh Southey QC)