Law Centre NI

Law Centre (NI)

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


Welcome to our September 2012 e-newsletter.  We hope you find it useful. Feel free to circulate it to interested colleagues. 

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

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



Migrant workers guides

BIPP migrant project

Refugee children courses

Autumn training

ESA payments: new extra statutory scheme

Community care complaint

Follow us on Twitter: @LawCentreNI

Migrant workers guide: help us reach out

Launch of Your Rights in Northern Ireland, a Guide for Migrant Workers

Following the launch of Your Rights in Northern Ireland by Jonathan Bell, junior minister at OFMDFM, we are enlisting the help of our members to ensure that the guides reach those who need them most.

The updated guides are translated into Polish, Slovak, Lithuanian, Romanian, Latvian, Russian, Chinese, Bulgarian and Brazilian Portuguese. They can be found online on as well as the Human Rights Commission website and NI Direct. 

We have printed copies of the Polish version and a poster publicising the online versions.  If you would like to display or distribute them to your users, please contact  Copies will be sent to you free of charge.


BIPP migrant project

Practitioner focus group

As part of the Belfast Integration and Participation Project, the Law Centre is running practitioner focus meetings identifying current and emerging issues for advisers and other practitioners working with migrant and minority ethnic people. They will be held at our Belfast office, from 11am to 1pm on Thursday 27 September and Monday 10 December.

At the first meeting we will cover difficulties faced by migrants in claiming tax credits and offer practical advice on how to deal with HMRC.

To register, email:


Free training: Right to reside rules for access to social security, health and social care and housing

This two day course will run twice at the Law Centre’s Belfast office on Thursday 18 and 25 October and then again on Thursday 8 and 15 November.

To register for the course, go to:

or email

For more information visit:  or


Free ILPA courses on refugee children

Refugee children

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

Guidance for non-practitioners 22 October, 2pm to 5.15pm (3 CPD points)

Legal Developments in Refugee Children’s Cases 23 October, 2pm to 5.15pm (3 CPD points)

Working with Refugee Children:  the asylum process and age assessments for social workers 24 October, 10am-5pm

Download course flyers here.


Back to school: learn with Law Centre (NI)

Trainees at immigration course

20 September: Completing Disability Forms, DLA and ESA Best Practice, Belfast

25 September: Representing Clients at Mental Health Review Tribunals, Derry

2 October: Representing Clients at Mental Health Review Tribunals, Belfast

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

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

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


ESA payments: new extra statutory scheme

People who lost Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA(C)) when moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland may be entitled to payment under a newly set up extra statutory scheme.

The Law Centre has been working for a number of people who lost their ESA when moving from England to Northern Ireland.

On moving, they were required to make fresh claims for ESA and were refused because they had not had recent national insurance contributions for ESA(C) and were not entitled to Income-related ESA, for example because a partner is working.  This is because the reciprocal agreement between GB and Northern Ireland providing continuity of claims for Incapacity Benefit was not updated to include ESA(C).

We asked the Department for Social Development to amend the law and to introduce an extra statutory scheme to pay those affected by the failure to update the reciprocal agreement.

The Department has now set up this extra statutory scheme.  It is open to all those affected by this rule in similar circumstances.  The Department has also begun the process of amending the legislation to include ESA(C) in the reciprocal arrangements regulations.

If you know anyone who has been affected by the failure to amend the reciprocal agreement, please contact the Law Centre’s advice line for further information.


Help with community care complaint

We helped a client make a complaint to the Ombudsman about a trust's assessment of her elderly aunt's needs for care on discharge from hospital and her subsequent care plan. 

The complaint was upheld, our client received £15,000  compensation and the trust agreed to review and change its procedures.

Read more about this case here.