Providing Access to Justice
Liberty’s Advice and Information service provides free legal guidance on human rights issues over the phone, email and letter to anyone in England and Wales. The specialist team provides a lifeline to thousands of people, who don't know where to turn to for help without Liberty.
This is an ongoing project.
Charity information: Civil Liberties Trust
Human rights law protects everyone in our society. Despite this, many people don’t know what their rights are or how to use them. Coupled with reductions in services for the vulnerable, threats to the Human Rights Act, and cuts to legal aid leaving family, immigration, and even domestic violence cases outside scope for state legal support –demand for free legal advice and information has never been greater. The A&I service aims to help meet this need.
The A&I service advises individuals and organisations on their rights, and identifies test cases for Liberty. We equip enquirers with the tools they need to resolve their legal issues, helping the authorities understand and uphold their obligations, and bringing abusers to justice. The team not only provides guidance on issues impacting people every day, but identifies serious human rights violations - many of which have a strategic bearing on wider questions of law and policy.
To provide practical advice on human rights law to the public and organisations.
Activities» To provide a telephone advice line for the public at least one lunchtime and two evenings per week, answering 1000 calls over the year.
» To respond to more than 2000 queries by email and letter each year, with specialist voluntary support from law firms and law schools.
» Outreach: Deliver workshops and talks in schools, universities and elsewhere, teaching people about human rights law, and how to use it.
Success will be assessed by the number and type of queries answered. Feedback from people and organisations using the service will also be monitored.
The public will:
- have access to free legal advice, including the most vulnerable
- be able to remedy their individual situation through practical advice
- be better informed about their rights and how to enforce them
- understand how human rights legislation can be used to tackle inequality and injustice.
Voluntary sector and community organisations will be able to better assist their clients through greater understanding of human rights law.
Feedback monitored as above.
While demand for the A&I service has risen in the 20 years since it was founded, funding sources are increasingly rare. We are seeking funding from a range of sources, including Liberty members and charitable trusts. This additional funding will help secure the future of this vital service and make sure vulnerable people are not left unsupported. We are also looking to improve engagement with our partners in the legal community.
Liberty will publish an overview of the service, including number of service users, in its Annual Review, which is made available to donors. We will also provide bespoke reports to donors as requested.
Budget - Project Cost: £114,631Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £88,788 Staffing A&I Officers, legal and operations support £17,000 Contribution to core costs Contribution to overheads £3,050 Expenses Volunteers and other expenses for outreach £5,793 Resources Updates to legal library
The project is based in London, but service users are based all over England and Wales. Volunteers for the service come from across the country.
A wide range of people will be supported by this service. Queries range from the rights of mental health patients and elderly people in care homes, to the right to have the death of a loved one investigated. We also receive queries from and relating to the homeless, people detained in prison and immigration detention centres. Many people who ask for help are elderly, refugees or asylum seekers or victims of crime. We will also work closely with grassroots organisations.
Liberty has been working to protect civil liberties and promote human rights for since 1934. As a leading expert in UK human rights law, we are uniquely placed to advise the public, charities and community groups about how they can use human rights law. The service has been active since 1997, and is a trusted and respected source of advice. Beyond our own expertise, we work closely with other organisations and law firms, allowing us to provide a network of support for people seeking help.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Advice And Information Officers (2)
Two non-practising solicitors with expertise in human rights law. With the legal team, they run the service, oversee volunteers and do outreach work.
The team uses volunteer support from seven legal firms and law schools which equates to the work of four extra full-time staff.
Advice And Information Manager
The Manager will enable to service to operate at its optimum and develop our legal partnerships. This would enable us to develop targeted expertise.