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A law centre revolution


HCLC Chair Ian Rathbone writes for new website 'Legal Voice'.

We are on the cusp of what we consider a law centre revolution. Serving a deprived but vibrant community in East London for almost 40 years, Hackney Community Law Centre has been considered part of Hackney’s furniture, writes Ian Rathbone. Now every day, however, we are confronted by the prospect of our demise and very survival.

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HCLC takes part in the Guardian's 'Live Justice' blog


Hackney Community Law Centre was delighted to take part in the Guardian newspaper's 'Live Justice' blogging experiment, where journalists tweeted live from courts across London.  

The point of this groundbreaking journalistic exercise was to try and demystify what goes on in our courtrooms to people who might not have had any experience of the courts system. On Tuesday 3rd April, the journalist

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BPP Law School offer employment law telephone adviceline service


BPP Law School is now offering a free telephone adviceline for people with employment law related problems. Clients can call the line at any time and leave a message with their name and number.   Student volunteers then call them back to gather some basic information.   This information is then referred onto a volunteer employment lawyer who calls the client back to give some advice on

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New Report - 'The impact of the legal aid changes on MPs’ caseloads'


The Young Legal Aid Lawyers organisation has produced an interesting report on the impact of the legal aid changes on MPs’ caseloads.  

The report, launched in Parliament next week, finds that the caseloads will very likely go up. Read a summary of the report HERE and the full report HERE.  

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New Patrons for Hackney Community Law Centre!


Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC), the charity, which provides free and independent legal advice and representation to residents in Hackney, has gained its first official set of patrons.  

HCLC, which faces large cuts to its budget as a result of Government changes to legal aid, has approached a number of well-known public figures in the legal, political and entertainment worlds to se

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Newham Monitoring Project's FAIR project


The Newham Monitoring Project’s (NMP) FAIR Project provides FREE training and workshops, and aims to raise awareness around issues of race & faith hate crime - from low level harassment in the home to escalating levels of violent crime.

The FAIR project will also address: Any form of discrimination faced in daily life whilst accessing statutory services etc. – i.e. within housing/ed

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JCWI offer new telephone adviceline


The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is now offering a telephone adviceline service for undocumented migrants on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am - and 1pm.

Download a flyer with more information HERE.

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It’s so much easier to attack the poor because they can’t hit back


HCLC Chair Ian Rathbone responds to Ken Clarke after BBC Radio 4's ‘Law in Action’ programme (broadcast Tuesday February 21st 2012)

Last night as I listened to Kenneth Clarke, the Justice minister on the BBC iPlayer talking to Joshua Rozenberg on Radio 4?s ‘Law in Action – Legal aid changes: long overdue reform or denial of justice?‘ programme I noticed that on screen underneath was

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New Service for Homeless Young People


Hackney Community Law Centre has launched a new advice service for young people aged 16-24. 

We are working alongside advice & advocacy workers from the Off Centre in Hackney Grove, and the Springboard Hackney organisation, which is based at the The Levy Centre in Lower Clapton Road, to provide specialist legal advice on issues such as: Homeless applications Renting in the private secto

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Matrix Chambers gives backing to Hackney Community Law Shops!


Matrix Chambers has made a significant donation to support the setting up of ‘Community Law Shops’ in Hackney.

Through its ‘Causes Fund’, Matrix has pledged to pay towards the expenses of volunteer solicitors staffing the proposed Hackney Community Law Centre’s ‘Community Law Shops’ for their first two years of operation.   The provision of extra solicitors and casework

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Victory for Carer Mum and Disabled Son!


A carer mum and her vulnerable autistic son can remain living in Hackney, thanks to the work of the Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC).

Three years ago, HCLC - the charity which provides free and independent legal advice and representation to residents in Hackney - took on the case of Mrs Ama and her 23 year old son (pictured right). Mrs Ama’s son is autistic, has mental health problems a

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Life after legal aid: the fightback begins


From The Guardian -  There is a link between the welfare reform bill and the legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders (Laspo) bill, and it is not simply the inspiring challenges that the Lords have made to both.

At the moment, someone denied a benefit can obtain free legal advice on whether, and how, they should appeal to a tribunal against the refusal. The success rate for appellant

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Immigration Law Practitioners Association proposes amendments to Legal Aid bill


The Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) has proposed a number of amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, which is going through the House of Lords.

If the bill were signed into law as it currently stands, it would abolish Legal Aid for immigration matters - mainly relating to exclusions to Judicial Review for immigration matters. Click HERE t

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Kings College London publishes report on cost of changes to legal aid


A Kings College London (KCL) report finds that changes proposed in the Legal Aid,Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill will save less than half of the Ј270million predicted by the Government - though denying justice to thousands of vulnerable people, say critics.

The report, commissioned by The Law Society of England and Wales, analysed the proposed changes to family, social welfare and c

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Homelessness: a silent killer


Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people, have published a new report revealing that homeless people in England die 30 years younger than the national average.

The report, entitled 'Homelessness: a silent killer' finds that an average homeless person has a life expectancy of 47, compared with 77 for the rest of the population. To read Crisis' report, please click HERE.

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New Manager for HCLC!


Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC) has a new pair of hands directing its activities in representing the poor and marginalised of Hackney.

Sean Canning (pictured above middle), takes over from current manager Matt Howgate (pictured above right) at a crucial time as the law centre continues to lead the fight against swingeing legal aid cuts. Mr Canning has been manager of the North Kensin

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AGM 2011 - HCLC moving forward with confidence


Hackney Community Law Centre held its 2011 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday 5th December 2011 ay Hackney Town Hall.

The meeting, which was well attended by interested local Hackney residents, received reports from Cllr Rathbone as the 2010-2011 Chair of HCLC and a Manager's Report from outgoing interim manager, Matthew Howgate. The AGM also approved HCLC's accounts for the year 201

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Welcome to Our New Website!


A warm welcome to Hackney Community Law Centre's new website!

Whether you are a potential client in need, a law student or a journalist covering developments in legal aid, we hope you will find our new website easy to navigate and that you find the information you are looking for. Just as we believe in access to justice for everyone regardless of their economic or social status, so we hope tha

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Supreme Court Judge speaks out on legal aid cuts


Baroness Brenda Hale, who sits in the Supreme Court, gave the key note speech at the 2011 Law Centres Federation (LCF) annual conference, which was held in Manchester.  

We reproduce the full text of Lady Hale's speech below: LAW CENTRES FEDERATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2011 OPENING ADDRESS Brenda Hale, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom "It is not the proper role of a

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