Law Centre NI

Law Centre (NI)

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


Welcome to our October 2012 e-newsletter.  We hope that you find it useful. Please feel free to circulate to interested colleagues.

If this newsletter does not display properly, you can read it in your internet browser.  Just click on: October 2012 eNewsletter.

Our Encyclopedia of Rights has been updated.  Follow this link: Encyclopedia of Rights 2012.



Frontline 85: welfare reform

Law Centre WRAP course

Pro bono seminar

Autumn/Winter training

Humanitarian protection

Reminder: refugee children training

Follow us on Twitter: @LawCentreNI

Frontline 85: welfare reform

The Welfare Reform Bill for Northern Ireland has now been published on the Northern Ireland Assembly’s website and is due to be debated at the Assembly very soon.

Frontline 85 discusses the issues at stake:

-       views and wishes from groups representing carers, women, children and disabled people

-       a contribution by Alex Maskey, chair of the Assembly’s Social Development Committee, on the need for full scrutiny of the bill

-       reports on how cuts are already affecting people

-       analysis of recent developments by Law Centre (NI)’s Georgina Ryan-White and director Les Allamby

Frontline also has updates for advisers on:

-       important changes to immigration rules for families

-       new ESA arrangements for people moving between NI and Britain

-       new tax credits fast track system will help some migrants and other claimants

and more.  Download Frontline 85 here.


This could be you!

Congratulations to all those who successfully completed the Welfare Rights Adviser Programme

run by Law Centre (NI) for Housing Rights Service.

The certificate is accepted as the market qualification for benefits advisers. Law Centre (NI) still has some places left on its Derry course which is starting soon.

We also deliver bespoke training, including the WRAP course, for individual organisations.

For further advice and suggestions contact:   


Pro Bono opportunities seminar

Getting involved in Pro Bono litigation: Opportunities in Northern Ireland

a joint seminar by Legal Support Project and the PILS Project

Wednesday 17 October at the Inn of Court, Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast

The seminar is aimed at solicitors and barristers who are interested in pro bono work and will cover a number of issues, including:

-       the importance of pro bono work in promoting access to justice and the potential benefits to the legal profession

-       the experience of pro bono work in England and Wales, and the Republic of Ireland

-       opportunities for practitioners to do pro bono work in Northern Ireland

Chair:  The Honourable Mr Justice Stephens

Keynote speakers: Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of LawWorks and Elizabeth Mitrow, Solicitor at Terence Lyons & Co. Dublin

Panel: Representatives from the LSP, PILS Project and NI Lawyers Pro Bono Group

This seminar is free, but places are limited. To book, please contact:

-       Mickey Ghanni, PILS Project via email  or by phone on 028 9044 6201 or:

-       Deborah Hill, Legal Support Project, Law Centre (NI) via email  or by phone on 028 9043 5050.


Book now for courses at Law Centre (NI)

8 October: Redundancy, Lay Off and Employer Insolvency – Belfast

9 October: Welfare Rights Adviser Programme – 8 days – Derry

25 October: Tribunal Representation – 6 days – Derry

12 November:  Introduction to Immigration Law and Practice - two days - Belfast

28 November: Challenging Tax Credit Decisions: Overpayments - Belfast

5 December: Advocacy Skills - two days - Belfast

7 December: WRAP Refresher - Means Tested Benefits - half day - Belfast

11 December: WRAP Refresher - Means Tested Benefits - half day - Derry

13 December: The Rights of Agency Workers - Belfast

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

For more details, visit the training section of our website, contact, 028 7126 2433 or view our training programme


Humanitarian protection

The Horn of Africa People’s Aid referred to the Law Centre a Somali national who had previously made a claim for asylum and was refused.  Since that time, he had been destitute and living in limbo. 

We made fresh representations to the UK Border Agency on his behalf, based on the Upper Tribunal case of AMM and others (conflict; humanitarian crisis; returnees; FGM) Somalia CG.  He was granted five years humanitarian protection, a status granted when a person is deemed not to qualify for refugee status but it is recognised that it is unsafe for her/him to return to her/his home country.

The case of AMM and others provides extensive new guidance on southern and central Somalia nationals and sets out how domestic and international law concerning applications for asylum and humanitarian protection should be applied, given the conditions in Somalia.


Reminder: free training on refugee children

The ILPA Refugee Children’s Project is offering free training to immigration lawyers and social workers dealing with refugee children’s cases. These courses are to be held at Law Centre (NI) Belfast office.

22 October: Guidance for non-practitioners  (3 CPD points)

23 October: Legal Developments in Refugee Children’s cases (3 CPD points)

24 October: Working with Refugee Children: the asylum process and age assessments for Social Workers

To book, contact