Why We Campaign

From the beginning, we have been more than a Law Centre. We campaign for access to justice.

First, we demand funding and support for all who need legal advice and representation.

You can read more about the effects of Legal Aid cuts and ways to fight them here. We have never aspired merely to plug the gaps left by Government funding cuts, which is why we demand the restoration of Legal Aid.

We are also fighting for a new generation of social welfare lawyers. Again, we demand the restoration of legal aid, as in fully funded legal aid meaning paid, not just voluntary lawyers.

Second, we are fighting together to change Government welfare reform policies.

This means challenging injustices in the legislation and welfare policy itself. Our volunteers on the frontline of our services see the hardship faced by the vulnerable in our community, and we campaign so that we can use this experience to enact real change through strategic litigation.

  • In practice, this means ensuring our elected representatives keep Legal Aid on the political agenda.
  • It means calling on the rest of the legal sector to support us in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable.
  • It means creating innovative ways of funding our survival.
  • It means building a sustainable volunteer base, because we are run by and for our community.
  • It means producing hard-hitting commentary on topical issues.
  • It means putting our campaigning weight behind legal challenges to unfair welfare policy and legislation.
  • It means working with similar organisations to maximise our shared impact.

 

GMLC opening - march with banners

March for free access to justice, February 2017, and visit of Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, to GMLC.

Our Active Campaigns

Income Maximisation

There have been over 2 million new Universal Credit claims since March 2020 and we estimate that there have been over 100,000 job losses across Greater Manchester as a result of Covid-19.  The adverse effects of the pandemic will be felt by our communities over next few months at least, and potentially far longer. GMLC is committed to assisting those that are struggling. We wish to ensure residents have immediate support through the specific Covid-19 programs available but as importantly ensure that individuals and families can access the income they are entitled to through our welfare rights take up campaign. The benefits system is daunting at the best of times, with many people and families trying to navigate this for the first time.

Click on the link on the right for more information and news about this campaign.

income max link
greater manchester against evictions campaign link

Greater Manchester Against Evictions

Formerly called ‘Everybody Out?’, our Greater Manchester Against Evictions campaign focuses on access to safe and secure housing for all, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. GMLC believes that everyone should be protected from homelessness, irrespective of their immigration status. We have taken action with tenants’ unions and homelessness organisations to campaign against illegal and unfair evictions, and continue to fight for a home for everyone.

Click on the picture on the left for more information and news about this campaign.

Legal Aid Landscape: Access to Justice

Legal disputes are not abstract. They affect our homes, our families, our treatment as employees and more. They affect our very survival, for example when we fight for the rights of those claiming welfare benefits.

An effective legal system is the cornerstone of a free society. Legal Aid is not as visible as a system such as the National Health Service, but the right to justice is as important as a right to health or a right to education. First, the justice system needs to be accessible so that people can recognise when a dispute has a legal dimension. Otherwise, they can’t use the tools available to them to resolve it. Second, people must not be denied a fair footing because of a lack of resources to access advice and representation. Quite simply, no access to justice means no justice.

Click on the picture on the right for more information and news about this campaign.

access to justice link

Recent GMLC Campaigns News

I Thought They Said ‘No Covid Evictions’?

This is a guest article written by Housing Law Practitioner and GMLC Member Nick Donlon. The government announced on 8 January an extension of the stay on enforcement of evictions…

“To stay home, you have to have a home” – extend the evictions ban!

On 11th January 2021, the government’s “winter truce” on residential evictions is due to end, leaving more tenants vulnerable to eviction this winter in the middle of the COVID second…

GMLC supports Unite the Community’s Day of Action against Universal Credit cuts

Today (Wednesday 9 December), Unite the Community is holding a Day of Action against cuts to Universal Credit. Unite the Community write: Universal Credit is a brutal, discredited system which…

GMLC Annual Report 2020

This week, GMLC held its Annual General Meeting. As part of the meeting, we shared the GMLC Annual Report, with updates and news from the year. Please click below to…

Maxine Peake on the importance of Everybody Out

Watch Maxine Peake’s video on the importance of resisting and campaigning against evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Plans to “reopen, restart and renew the housing market” – What you need to know

Today the Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick, has announced his plans to “reopen, restart and renew the housing market” allowing property viewing for the first time since lock down. As a…

We Love Manchester charity funds COVID-19 housing advice project

Greater Manchester Law Centre has received a grant from the We Love Manchester Charity to support its work in supporting Manchester tenants affected by the COVID19 crisis. The funds are…

Greater Manchester Housing Justice Campaign – Housing Justice for All!    

No-one should lose their home as a result of COVID-19 #CV19HousingJustice   With over 1.5m people nationally and over 100,000 in Greater Manchester alone claiming Universal Credit as a result of the…