Training Programme 2013-2014
The new Law Centre Training Programme is now available. Some of our courses can now be booked together to save 20%.
Help us celebrate Refugee Week!
Join Law Centre (NI) as we celebrate Refugee Week 2013 with a discussion of groundbreaking cases in refugee law
All aboard for launch of Rights in Progress
Law Centre (NI) will launch the 4th edition of Rights in Progress: A guide to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act on 14 June.
Apprentice solicitor vacancy
The Law Centre is able to offer 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.
The successful candidate may be based at the Law Centre (NI) Belfast Office at 124 Donegall Street, and/or the Western Area Office at 9 Clarendon Street, Derry.
Closing date for applications is Friday 31 May 2013 at 2.00 pm. Interviews will be held on Tuesday 11 June 2013.
Read all about it: May e-news
Our May e-newsletter is out, with new courses, social security casework updates, our development plan for 2013-2016 and more:
Vacancy at Law Centre (NI): Anti-trafficking Legal and Policy Adviser
Anti-trafficking Legal and Policy Adviser
(Sexually exploited and trafficked young people project)
21 hours per week. Based in Belfast
This is a three year Comic Relief funded project to provide a specialist legal and policy service relating to sexually exploited and trafficked young people. Secondment applications will be considered.
We are seeking candidates who are solicitors or barristers with at least the full time equivalent of one year’s post qualification experience of providing advice, casework and legal representation in the area of immigration law. Policy and lobbying experience is an advantage.
For more details and an application form, see the Work With Us page.
Briefing: implications of JR 47
The implications of JR47 - May 2013
This Law Centre (NI) briefing outlines the key points of a high court judgement on the resettlement of long term patients of Muckamore hospital and its broader implications in the field of health and social care law.
Significant decision on Child Benefit and right to reside
AS v Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (CB) NICom 15 (21 February 2013) - file number C1/10-11 (CB)
In a case taken by the Law Centre on behalf of an EU8 national, Commissioner Mullan found that she should be entitled to Child Benefit and that applying the right to reside rule in her case was unlawful direct discrimination under Article 3 of EC Regulation 1408/71.
A first in the UK, this is a very significant decision on right to reside requirements for benefit entitlement.
Regulation 1408/71 and the right to reside test
The Commissioner held that an EU8 national subject to registration requirements should be entitled to Child Benefit where s/he falls within the scope of EC Regulation 1408/71. EU8 nationals are nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia.
Our client had worked and paid tax and national insurance in the UK for over twelve months. Although her employer had not registered this employment under the Worker Registration Scheme, it brought her within Regulation 1408/71, which prohibits direct discrimination on grounds of nationality.
Regulation 1408/71 (as well as Reg 883/2004 which has since replaced it) concerns the co-ordination of social security systems. It applies to all EU member state nationals who are or have been covered by the social security system of one of the member states, as well as members of their family and their survivors.
The Commissioner distinguished his decision from the Supreme Court Decision in Partmalniece v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2011, which considers the habitual residence test.
Child Benefit entitlement is based on an ordinary residence and right to reside test (rather that a habitual residence and right to reside test). Commissioner Mullan held that, unlike the habitual residence test which UK nationals can also fail, the ordinary residence provision is rarely failed by UK nationals, so that, in effect, the only residence test for entitlement to Child Benefit is the right to reside test. As all UK nationals satisfy the right to reside test, in the context of Child Benefit it is directly discriminatory to non UK nationals.
As well as EU8 nationals, this decision may be of assistance to Romanian and Bulgarian nationals who could raise similar arguments. It would also help Croatian and Serbian nationals when their countries join the EU.
Economically inactive EU nationals, such as those not working due to caring responsibilities, may also be able to rely on this decision if they come within the Regulation.
Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, ESA in youth – among other benefits – also have an ordinary residence and right to reside rule, so the decision may have relevance to similar disputes for entitlement to those benefits.
HMRC has until 21 May to appeal.
New training courses
Several new courses are being offered by Law Centre (NI).
Awards for professional and caring Law Centre
Law Centre (NI) has passed Lexcel reassessment. Lexcel is the Law Society’s international practice management standard awarded to solicitors and legal services providers who meet the highest management and customer care standards.
Policy news March 2013
Read our March 2013 policy bulletin. With news on welfare reform, tribunal reform, asylum support, trafficking, employment disputes, community care and mental health law.
Community care: direct payments for adults who lack capacity to consent
Law Centre (NI) community care information briefing just out: direct payments for adults who lack capacity to consent.
In May 2012, the Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety (NI) issued Guidance entitled
‘‘Direct Payments for Persons who lack Capacity to Consent’’.
The guidance sets out interim arrangements for the provision of direct payments to adults who lack the necessary mental capacity to consent to receive direct payments.
This briefing gives a summary of the guidance. It examines the actions that must be taken by Health and Social Care Trusts in existing direct payments cases and for new applications.
It also highlights the role of the ‘authorised person’ in the context of direct payments provision.
Immigration briefings: children; trafficked adults; immigration and partnerships
New information briefings on immigration issues. Read them here:
The best interests of children in immigration law - March 2013
Also published in March 2013: two updated briefings on immigration, marriage, partnerships and family relationships: www.lawcentreni.org/EoR/immigration.html.
Frontline 87 goes digital
Frontline magazine is now a digital publication only. Download PDF or read on-screen version.
Celebrating the life of Inez McCormack
With the support of her family, the Participation and the Practice of Rights organisation (PPR) are holding an event to celebrate Inez McCormack's life and her work for equality, social justice and the practice of rights.
Saturday 23rd March 2013, 2pm – 4pm (Doors open from 1.00pm)
Elmwood Hall, Elmwood Ave, Belfast, County Antrim BT7 1NN.
Law Centre (NI) eNews March 2013: welfare reform, human trafficking, children's strategy, training courses, free session on Personal Independence Payment, immigration case highlights need for mutual visas...
The impact of welfare reform
The Welfare Reform Group has produced a briefing note on next steps for welfare reform. It can be downloaded by following the link below:
Listen to Les Allamby talk about Universal Credit on BBC Radio Ulster
Les Allamby talked about welfare reform and Universal Credit on BBC's On Your Behalf on Saturday 2 March. The broadcast is available until 9 March only on: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/northernireland/oyb/oyb_20130302-1011a.mp3
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