All posts by admin

Covid-19 Update

By | News | No Comments

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Islington Law Centre is closing its reception with immediate effect and asking clients to either telephone or email us.

Staff will mainly be working from home. Existing clients will already have the direct contact details of their caseworker and should continue to use those.

Anyone new needing advice from us should call or email. We will be conducting interviews by telephone and advisers will explore with you how to pass on important documents.

We are waiting to see how the courts and tribunals will respond to the pandemic and how this might affect our clients. Further updates will appear here as the situation develops.

Covid-19 Coronavirus and our client services

By | News | No Comments

As of 13 March 2020, Islington Law Centre is still open to the public and still running advertised outreach services. We are following government hygiene advice and encouraging our personal callers to do the same. Hand washing facilities are available for all visitors to the law centre and common surfaces are being cleaned regularly.

We have asked staff not to shake hands with callers. If we do not shake hands we are not being discourteous but following health guidelines during this time.

We are usually able to turn booked appointments into telephone appointments for clients who are self-isolating. Please email or call us to arrange this facility. Government guidelines may change very quickly and updates as to how this affects client services will appear here. In the meantime, please be careful and keep safe.

Christmas concert

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

We are delighted to announce our friends at UCL’s Chamber Choir and Players will be holding a Christmas Concert in support of us on the 4th of December. Conducted by Charles Peebles, the programme includes works by Mozart, Händel, Maw and Anderson and promises to be a wonderful night of sumptuous sound.

The concert takes place at the Church of St Mary le Strand, WC2R 1ES at 7.00pm. Tickets are £5.00 either on the door or through Eventbrite and all proceeds go to Islington Law Centre. The event has been very popular in the past so booking through Eventbrite is recommended.

We’re very grateful to the musicians staging this wonderful event and we hope to see many of you there to enjoy the music and get into the Christmas spirit!

https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/decemberconcert

LAW CENTRE URGES RESIDENTS TO STAND UP AND BE HEARD

By | News | No Comments

Islington Law Centre is urging residents to make sure their voices are heard by registering to vote in the General Election, set for December 12th 2019.

Almost three in ten eligible residents did not vote in the 2017 General Election and the Law Centre is keen to make sure people have the right to have their say in this election.

“As a Law Centre, we exist to protect and enhance people’s rights and make sure they can exercise them,” said Centre Director, Stuart Hearne. “One of the most basic rights is the right to vote and influence who governs us.”

Stuart reiterated that the Law Centre is not party political: “We are not concerned with how people vote – that is a matter for them alone; we are just concerned that they can vote and have a voice.”

The process is simple and can be done online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by post. The Law Centre, which is open Monday to Friday 10.00-4.00 (closed between 1.00-2.00pm) is able to help people with the paper forms at their offices at 38 Devonia Road, Islington N1 8JH.

There have been concerns raised in recent years that registering to vote can be difficult for vulnerable people. A House of Commons select committee heard after the 2010 election that voter registration was significantly lower among black and minority ethnic groups than those who were white British[1]. The same is true of younger people when compared to older people.

Stuart said, “We can understand the concerns of people who have lived through the hostile environment of the Home Office or been subjected to benefit sanctions about signing up to vote. Anyone who is unsure if registering to vote will affect their housing or employment status can seek advice from the Law Centre or any reputable advice agency.”


[1] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmpolcon/232/23207.htm

Podcasts from ILC

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The Migrants Law Project, which is hosted by Islington law Centre, has just released the first in a series of podcasts, “It Can Be Done”, which shows the impact of co-ordinating efforts to make a real difference to people’s lives.

Episode One opens in 2015. We meet Kotaiba, a 15 year old Syrian refugee who finds himself in Calais looking for a safe way to reach his brother and sister in the UK. Meanwhile, across the Channel, two English observers watch in horror as Europe’s refugee crisis unfolds: asylum seekers and migrants living in makeshift camps with no sanitation or decent shelter, violence at borders, families drowning at sea. What if anything is to be done? And could there potentially be a legal solution? 

The link is here – it’s a powerful story and we urge you to take a listen. https://themigrantslawproject.org/podcast/

Goodbye and hello…

By | News | No Comments

After 18 years at Islington Law Centre, Ruth Hayes will be leaving at the end of April 2019.  Over this time, she has seen the services develop and expand, and during her time here the Law Centre has grown from 18 staff to 33, with an increase in the level of services and the range of legal assistance provided.   Stuart Hearne will take over as Director with effect from May 2019.

UCL Chamber Choir and Players put on Christmas Concert to support Islington Law Centre’s Christmas Appeal

By | Uncategorized | No Comments
We are delighted that a group of our volunteers is organising a Christmas
Concert to celebrate the work of the Law Centre and to help us with our
Christmas appeal.  The UCL Chamber Choir and Players, conducted by Charles
Peebles, will perform a number of works at St Mary le Strand on 10
December 2018.  We are extremely grateful to them for supporting our work
in this way.

The concert will be a great opportunity to listen to wonderful music, and
to find out a little more about our work.  Tickets are free and are
available here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/december-concert-tickets-52553030529

Donations to our Christmas Appeal to help us to help more people can be
made here:
https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=IslingtonLawCentreChristmasappeal&pageUrl=11

Islington Law Centre client interview with Open Democracy

By | News | No Comments

We are very pleased to have been able to work with Open Democracy to highlight the difficulties many people face in getting legal  advice as a result of the cuts to the Legal Aid system in 2013.  The Law Centre acts for a range of local people, including those who have been caught up with the issues affecting the Windrush Generation.  Eleanor spoke to the Open Democracy team about her case, and how the Law Centre had been able to help her to ensure that she was able to obtain justice.

You can see the interview in the link below, and also read more about the way in which the cuts to Legal Aid have affected people.  There are also suggested actions you can take to help highlight how important legal aid is to people.

Eleanor sums this up when she says “Legal Aid is an invaluable asset to anyone who is not privileged”  – no-one knows when they might face a legal issue,  and we want to ensure that there are enough legal aid lawyers to help people when they do.”

The link is here:-  https://www.opendemocracy.net/openjustice/satbir-singh-charlotte-threipland/windrush-toxic-combination

Legal Aid brought back into scope for separated and unaccompanied children in immigration cases following legal challenge brought by Islington Law Centre

By | News | No Comments

“Immigration law is complex and fast moving. Combined with the hostile environment which we have seen wreak such havoc on the Windrush generation, the thought of children navigating the system alone was terrifying. Sometimes as a lawyer you start with a gut instinct that something is wrong, and you build a case around it. After 5 years of hard work it is a relief to see that instinct vindicated.”
Roopa Tanna – Solicitor, Islington Law Centre

Islington Law Centre and MiCLU represented The Children’s Society in their 5-year long legal challenge to the government’s 2013 removal of legal aid for children’s immigration cases. In a Ministerial Statement in the House of Commons on 12 July 2018 Lucy Frazer (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice) announced that changes will now be made to reinstate legal aid as of right for unaccompanied or separated migrant children requiring legal advice and representation in relation to immigration matters. This is the first time that the Lord Chancellor has exercised his powers to reinstate civil legal aid for a specified group.

In the face of the hostile environment and cut to services this is an important safeguard for children who face complex laws affecting every aspect of their lives. Children without a parent to advocate for them are particularly vulnerable, and, as Windrush has shown us, the effects of being unable to assert rights and entitlements in relation to immigration entitlements can last a lifetime.

“The role of a Law Centre is to ensure equality of access to justice to all members of our community. In the face of cuts to our services we nevertheless decided to run this case because of the fundamental issues of access to justice involved.”
Stuart Hearne – Co-Director, Islington Law Centre

We are immensely proud of our legal team. In particular we would like to thank Paul Bowen QC, Michelle Knorr, Alison Pickup, Oliver Jones, and Zoe Harper. We would also like to thank all those who supported the case by providing evidence of the impact that loss of legal aid has had on separated and unaccompanied migrant children.

“At MiCLU our aim is for every migrant child to have their voice heard in legal proceedings affecting them. We are so proud of our legal team for bringing this case so that unaccompanied and separated migrant children have access to a lawyer to help them to be fully involved in issues so key to their future.”
Anna Skehan – Solicitor, MiCLU

London Legal Walk

By | News | No Comments

Islington Law Centre is again taking part in the London Legal Support Trust’s Annual London Legal Walk on 21 May 2018. This year the walk is the biggest ever, with over 12,000 people walking through London to raise much needed funds for legal advice agencies.

Our team includes staff, trustees and volunteers and we are extremely grateful to all of our sponsors. All the money raised by our team goes directly to our work, and we are delighted that 3 corporate firms are also raising money for the Law Centre. If you would like to support us in this way, you can donate online here. Thank you!

For general enquiries or to make an appointment: Call 020 7288 7630