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New Policy Bulletin

Law Centre (NI) Policy Bulletin 17 is out now, giving an update on policy issues the Law Centre has been working on in the first quarter of 2014.

Download Policy Bulletin 17 - April 2014


Frontline 91 Spring 2014

Picture of child

Separated children, Modern slavery bill, Welfare reform, Benefit cap, NIASC, Budget 2014, Housing equality, Care homes, Benefit rates 2014-2015


Read more: Frontline 91 Spring 2014


Sneak preview: Law Centre training plans for next quarter


6 May Welfare Rights Advisers Programme - 8 days - Introductory level

20 May Introduction to Mental Health Law - Introductory/Intermediate

23 May Understanding Universal Credit - Introductory/Intermediate

29 May Personal Independence Payment - Introductory

10 June Carers and their Rights - Advanced

12 June Dublin III Regulation - ½ day - Advanced

20 June Social Security Appeals – Identifying Errors in Law and Appeals to the Social Security Commissioner - Advanced


15 May Understanding Universal Credit - Introductory/Intermediate

22 May Personal Independence Payment - Introductory

18 June Carers and their Rights - Advanced

Law Centre training counts towards CAB, Law Society and Bar Council Continuing Professional Development.

All courses are mapped towards National Occupational Standards.

Welfare Rights Adviser Programme is accredited by Open College Network Northern Ireland.

For more information, contact training officer Eamon Doherty on 9024 4401 or administration manager (Western Area Office) Elaine McCorriston on 7126 2433

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Or visit our website: www.lawcentreni.org


Community Care Briefing: Identifying and meeting a carer's needs

Law Centre Community Care Briefing 32: Identifying and meeting a carer's needs is now available. This briefing provides a synopsis of the law and guidance governing the assessment of need process for individuals who provide informal care to adults with social care needs.

It is of use to trust staff required to conduct carers' assessments and also to those carers undertaking an assessment of their needs.

Download Community Care Briefing 32


Apprentice solicitor vacancy

The Law Centre is offering an apprenticeship for law students who have secured a place at either the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queens University Belfast or the University of Ulster Graduate School of Professional Legal Education.

We will be able to offer advice, casework and advocacy experience in one or more of our areas of work, alongside dealing with legal aid applications and an opportunity to gain experience of how the Law Centre’s work contributes to policy development. 

For more information and an application form please visit the Work With Us page.




Community care briefing: Domiciliary care eligibility

The Law Centre has a new community care briefing available on assessing eligibility for domiciliary care services. 

This briefing examines a case taken by Law Centre (NI) in the matter of
an Application by Kathleen McClean for Judicial Review [2011] (McClean’s

The decision in McClean’s Application is of relevance to any health and/
or social care professional required to assess an adult’s eligibility to
access a domiciliary care service from the Trust.

Download Community Care Briefing 31: Domiciliary Care Eligibility


Benefit and Tax Credit rates 2014

The new Benefit and Tax Credit rates for 2014-2015 are now available.

Go to Benefit and Tax Credit rates page at Encyclopedia of Rights

Download Benefit and Tax Credit rates PDF


Vacancy at Children's Law Centre

Recptionist/Admin Assistant (Part time 18 hours per week)

Ref: RAA 03/14   NJC Salary Point 16 - £16,604 per annum pro rata

The Receptionist/Admin. Assistant will have at least 2 years secretarial and word processing experience, RSA Stage II word processing/typing or equivalent, 5 GCSEs at grade C and above to include English and Maths or equivalent.

Experience of Sage Line 50 Accounts, Microsoft Office, databases and file management. A commitment to children’s rights and participation is essential.

Attractive terms and conditions apply including Company Pension and Employers for Childcare Voucher scheme.

This post will initially be for 1 year but has good prospects for renewal.

Application packs can be downloaded from our website:


or apply in writing quoting reference number to:

Helen Rafferty, Head of Administration & Finance Unit, Children’s Law Centre, 3rd Floor, Philip House, 123-137 York Street, Belfast, BT15 1AB or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Closing Date: 12 pm Friday, 28 March 2014

Interviews will be held on: Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Children’s Law Centre is an equal opportunities employer


Casework volunteers

Law Centre volunteer

Law Centre (NI) will accept expressions of interest in short-term (minimum of three months) placements to volunteer in one of the following areas of casework: immigration, social security, employment and community care.


Read more: Casework volunteers


Vacancy - Legal Adviser (Mental Health)

The Law Centre is seeking candidates for the post of Legal Adviser (Mental Health) for maternity leave cover.

Full details and an application form can be found on our Work With Us page.


Migrants and benefits: a new guide

Migrants and Benefits cover

Law Centre (NI) has published an advisers' guide on Migrants and Benefits, on behalf of Belfast Integration and Participation Project.


Read more: Migrants and benefits: a new guide


Working for progress for refugees, asylum seekers and people who have been trafficked

We gave evidence last week to the Justice Committee on the Human Trafficking Bill.

Liz Griffith, policy officer at the Law Centre, spoke yesterday on Radio Ulster Talkback about the challenges faced by asylum seekers in NI:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03vpfmd (fast forward to around 20 minutes into the prgramme)

Les Allamby's contribution to 'Nowhere to go' a programme about destitute asylum seekers, clarified the position of asylum seekers as regards benefits:

The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister has announced that a crisis fund for refugees and asylum seekers is due to be set up:


DEL funded PhD opportunities at the School of Law, University of Ulster

There are PhD funding opportunities with DEL at the University of Ulster School of Law. Supervision areas include transitional justice, human rights, international law, socio-legal studies and legal theory: www.socsci.ulster.ac.uk/gradschool/law_projects.html.

Please feel free to contact potential supervisors to discuss proposals.

Funding opportunities are at:

Full details for applicants:

Deadline is 28 February 2014.


Changes in Child Maintenance

The Northern Ireland Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has been undergoing major reforms.

Parents should contact Child Maintenance Choices service to find out more about their options.

Choices can also signpost parents to additional support services in areas such as legal advice, mediation, parenting and finance.

For further information go to: www.nidirect.gov.uk/child-maintenance or phone 0800 028 7439.


Vacancy - PILS Project Development Officer

PILS logoThe PILS Project seeks a temporary Development Officer.

The PILS Project is an independent organisation which seeks to advance human rights and equality in Northern Ireland through the use of and support for public interest litigation.

The successful candidate will work with the PILS Project Manager and Solicitor to secure improvements in the protection and promotion of human rights in Northern Ireland. The post-holder will be responsible for working closely with PILS members to advise them on the potential of the PILS Project to help them with their objectives; will be responsible for managing PILS pro bono register; will be responsible for the project’s publications and communication systems; will monitor relevant case-law; carry out legal research and act as a conduit to the Project Manager and Solicitor on possible litigation efforts.

The successful candidate will have a law degree or a relevant social science degree, one year of legal experience post qualification or one year of experience working in a non-governmental organisation dealing with human rights issues, excellent oral and written communication skills and excellent knowledge of communication and information systems.

This is a 10-12 month temporary post with a salary of SO1, Pt. 30 £25,727 + 8% pension. Immediate start desirable.

Closing date for receipt of applications: 2pm, Friday 14 February 2014

Interviews will be held on the 26 February 2014

To discuss this post/project, interested individuals should contact Melissa Murray on 028 9044 6201.

For an application form and further details, please contact Mickey Ghanni in writing (hard copy or email) at The PILS Project, Arthur House, 41 Arthur Street, Belfast, BT1 4GB or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Creating the good economy - NICVA conference - 31 January

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action is holding conference to explore the economic position of young people, the wider causes and implications of intergenerational trends, and what should be done to ensure a good economy for young and old alike.

Speakers include Bonnie Greer, social commentator, Ed Howker, author of The Jilted Generation, and Richard Ramsey, Chief Economist at Ulster Bank.

The conference, the first in a series of three, is on Friday 31 January 2014 in Riddel Hall, Belfast. For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 9087 7777.


Frontline 90 - Winter 13-14

Martyn Day

Frontline 90 Winter 2013-2014 is now available online.


Read more: Frontline 90 - Winter 13-14


Law Centre Impact Report 2013 and LSP Impact Report 2013

The Law Centre's 2013 Impact Report is available now and details our work over the past year.

Download Impact Report 2013.

Impact Report cover

Also available is the Legal Services Project Impact Report.

LSP Impact Report cover

Download LSP Impact Report 2013.


Human trafficking and the law conference - 10 January

Free One-Day Conference

Friday 10 January 2014, 9:30 - 17:00

Europa Hotel, Great Victoria St, Belfast

Last few places remaining - book online now

This conference is aimed at NGO staff, local government workers, lawyers,academics, support services and other front line agencies in contact with victims of human trafficking.

There will be sessions on:

• Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking

• The National Referral Mechanism

• Working with Victims of Trauma

• Case Study Workshop

Also, breakout seminars on:

• The Rights of Trafficking Victims Under EU Law

• The Criminalisation of Trafficked Persons

• Child Victims of Trafficking

• Litigating Trafficking Cases at the European Court of Human Rights

(Pick any two of these whilst booking online)

Conference organised by the AIRE Centre - a specialist charity whose mission is to promote awareness of European law rights and assist marginalised individuals and those in vulnerable circumstances to assert those rights. See more at: www.airecentre.org


Major conference on asylum law

The European Database of Asylum Law is holding an international conference on asylum law in Dublin.

'Reflections on the Current Application of the EU Asylum Acquis' a conference organized by staff of the European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL), at the Irish Refugee Council, in conjunction with the Irish Centre for European Law (ICEL).

Hilton Charlemont Hotel, Dublin, on Friday and Saturday, 17 and 18 January 2014

The conference will be addressed by a number of distinguished speakers, including: Professor Guy Goodwin Gill, All Souls College, Oxford and Matrix Chambers

UK Judge Lars Bay Larsen, President of the Tenth Chamber of the Court of Justice of the EU Dr. Cathryn Costello, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford, UK

Ms. Nuala Mole, AIRE Centre, UK

Mr. Justice Bernard McCloskey, President of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration & Asylum Chamber, UK

Mr. Bernard Dawson, Judge of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration & Asylum Chamber, UK

Ms. Diane Goodman, Deputy Director, Bureau for Europe, UNHCR

Mr. Adriano Silvestri, Head of Sector, Asylum, Migration & Borders, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights

Professor Jens Vedsted-Hansen, University of Aarhus, Denmark

as well as several other well-known and esteemed experts on asylum law from Ireland and abroad.

Registration is now open at www.asylumlawdatabase.eu. A reduced rate of €224 is available to IRC, ECRE and ICEL members, NGO employees and lawyers in their first 5 years of practice.

To reserve a place, please e-mail, post or fax a completed copy of the attached booking form to - Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Fax: +353-1-896 4455 Post: Irish Centre for European Law, House 39, Law School, Trinity College, Dublin 2

Reservations may also be made directly by phoning the ICEL Administrator 10am-2pm, Mon-Fri at +353-1-896 1845.

9 CPD points are available for attendance More details are available at www.asylumlawdatabase.eu.


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