Keynote speaker for our AGM: Rebekah Carrier and her groundbreaking case | Research by GMLC Volunteer Paul Cosier on ESA claims | Two victories in one day | Identifying the legal gaps exposed by the Grenfell fire | Training Contract opportunity with GMLC
Here is a round-up of the latest access to justice stories:
- Holiday scams down to cuts to legal aid
- Scheme could teach prisoners and school children how to protect their legal rights
- Concerns over safety of thousands of US convictions following criticisms of pioneering DNA analysis
- 800 years of additional time imposed on prisoners for breaking rules
Keynote speaker for our AGM: Rebekah Carrier and her groundbreaking case
Everyone is welcome at our AGM, Thursday 28th September 2017, 6:30pm at the Mechanics Institute. We now have a facebook event here.
Our keynote speaker is Rebekah Carrier, solicitor and director of Hopkin Murray Beskine. She recently hit the headlines when she represented a group of single mothers bringing a successful challenge against the government’s benefit cap, which limits the income certain families receive in benefits. The damning judgment declared that the cap illegally discriminated against single parents with young children, who could not work because of childcare demands.
It is an honour to declare that Rebekah will be speaking at our AGM on 28th September, as we discuss ways we can use our law centre to challenge the Government’s welfare reforms.
Research by GMLC Volunteer Paul Cosier on ESA claims
At GMLC, we don’t just want to assist people who are navigating the existing welfare benefits system. We want to be a critical and analytical voice, utilising the work that we do to enact real change. We therefore encourage all of our volunteers to conduct research and write articles on access to justice.
“My name is Paul and as a volunteer with Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC) dealing with members of the public over the telephone, by email and in person. It has become apparent just how difficult many of these people find it to make a new claim for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or make the transition from Incapacity Benefit to ESA.
To better understand the nature of the problem and the numbers involved I decided to undertake some research into the available data and this is the result of that research.”
You can read Paul’s research on the scope, context and impact of the process required to claim Employment and Support allowance here.
Two victories in one day
This Wednesday 6th September, our caseworkers Ruth Cheesbrough and Sarah Wait secured two victories for GMLC clients.
Ruth’s client was initially found ‘fit for work’ and denied Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which is a form of financial support for those unable to work due to ill health and/or disability. With Ruth’s support, this decision was overturned on appeal and the client was placed in the ESA Support Group.
Sarah Wait recently joined our team. We are thrilled to announce that she just won her first ESA appeal for a GMLC client.
Well done Ruth and Sarah!
We will be presenting a summary of our casework statistics at our AGM, Thursday 28th September 2017, 6:30pm at the Mechanics Institute.
Identifying the legal gaps exposed by the Grenfell fire
Our campaign volunteers Eimear McCartan and Sam Blewitt recently published this insightful piece on the legal issues surrounding the Grenfell fire.
The University of Bristol has been awarded a grant by Shelter to conduct a survey to address three objectives:
- To set out clearly the gaps in current legislation which may make housing less safe and/or prevent households from remedying problems
- To set out where lack of enforcement undermines existing legal protections
- To identify legal remedies to strengthen protection for tenants.
Researchers are seeking evidence from renters and owner-occupiers, lawyers, other professionals involved in looking at the conditions of accommodation, and landlords (social and private). Findings from this research will be used to produce a report for Shelter and other academic work. This report and other work will not identify you, your household, or your business/place of work.
GMLC are not directly involved in this project, however we support research which will assist in the fight for justice. You can take part in the survey here.
Justice First Fellowship Scheme – Trainee Solicitor Training Contract opportunity with GMLC
Applications close 18th September for our Training Contract opportunity. The start date is January 2018, and candidates must have completed the LPC (the professional training qualification for solicitors). If you are interested or know anyone who may be, please find more information here.
4 things you can do to help Greater Manchester Law Centre
- You can donate and/or set up a standing order to help fund our key legal services
- Get involved, by either volunteering, becoming a member, a supporter, or if you are an organisation, you can affiliate with us. Find out how by going to the ‘Get Involved’ section of our website
- For those of you on Twitter, tweet us @gmlawcentre and tell us why access to justice is so important.
- Ask for a letter of support from your local councillor/MP/community organisation/trade union branch and send it in to us