Proof Magazine Launch in Parliament

ProofI spent a wonderful afternoon in Parliament on the 18th of July, leading a delegation from Hackney Community Law Centre to the House of Commons for the launch of the issue 3 of Proof Magazine – ‘Why legal aid matters‘.

The publication, produced by The Justice Gap (for whom I am a commissioning editor) and The Justice Alliance – a coalition of charities, community groups, legal campaigners and trade unions who campaign against Government cuts to legal aid – tells the story of why legal aid matters promoting the campaign to highlight the devastating impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO), which was introduced by the former coalition government in 2012. The magazine was funded through a crowdfunding campaign I ran in June 2016.

Team HCLC and Julius

It was wonderful that Julius Holgate, a Hackney Community Law Centre client, came up to Parliament with my colleagues and I to speak about his terrible experience with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Julius is a double amputee with no legs who had been assessed ‘fit for work’ by the DWP. The DWP had argued that because he had arms, he could use them to ‘climb’ stairs and so had ‘mobility’. When his benefits were cut, Julius fell into debt and had to pawn his jewellery to survive. It was only when Hackney Community Law Centre got involved – despite there being no legal aid funding to do so – that the DWP overturned this decision. Continue reading “Proof Magazine Launch in Parliament”

Haringey Law Centre hosts a future global legal and political star

MarkI was delighted to welcome Australian student Mark Munnich to Haringey Law Centre earlier this month. Mark comes from the Indigenous Aboriginal community in Darwin, the Northern Territory of Australia.

Mark spent two weeks in London with Felicity Gerry QC as part of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency’s (NAAJA) Bilata Legal Pathways Program, which seeks to encourage more young Australians from the indigenous Aboriginal communities to become the lawyers and judges of tomorrow.

I was deeply impressed by Mark. He had a poise and focus that I have rarely seen in young students. Still only an undergraduate student, he has already represented Australia at the Commonwealth Youth Parliament and will shortly become a fellow on a programmme at the United Nations. I have no doubt that Mark has a big future ahead of him in law, politics or both! Definitely a young man to watch!

Read about what Mark had to say about his trip to London HERE.

Rebuilding Haringey Law Centre with Catherine West MP

M C JI had a really good meeting with Catherine West MP, the Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green, in Parliament earlier this week. Law Centres Network director Julie Bishop (pictured right) and I met Catherine (pictured centre) to discuss Haringey Law Centre and the many positive developments afoot. It’s fantastic to have Catherine – and Tottenham MP David Lammy’s – full support as we try to help Haringey Law Centre colleagues rebuild the Centre.