The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association has launched the Strategic Legal Fund, a fund to support legal work that goes beyond securing justice for an individual and makes a significant contribution to law, practice and procedures to uphold and promote the rights of migrant groups in the UK.
The Strategic Legal Fund (SLF) for migrant groups in the UK is a fund to support legal work in the UK that goes beyond securing justice for an individual and makes a significant contribution to law, practice and procedures to uphold and promote the rights of people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants more generally.
Everyone in the UK has the right to be treated fairly and equally before the law. But many people in this country are struggling to get vital legal support in situations when they need it most. They include families seeking refuge from war and persecution, children who need asylum, men and women facing injustice after moving here, or even after living in the UK most of their lives.
By supporting people in some of these situations through legal work, the Strategic Legal Fund aims to clarify and advance their laws for everyone’s benefit. Their goal is to make sure all migrants in the UK can get justice when they need it through the legal system that guides, connects and protects them all.
Applications must be to fund one of two kinds of strategic legal work:
- the research and development of cases pre-litigation including: gathering evidence to test a hypothesis or research to establish authorities’ policy and practice, identifying potential plaintiffs/applicants/appellants; researching whether to proceed; translating relevant material; and evaluating a litigation strategy.
- third party “interventions” in existing cases, which allow a non-party intervener to assist the court in arriving in its decision in a case, acting as an amicus curiae, a friend of the court.
- The SLF aims to tackle injustices and inconsistencies in law and practice that disadvantage or discriminate against people as a result of their migration status. They do this by making grants to organisations to:
- undertake pre-litigation research, or
- make third party interventions to ensure that the key legal points are made in existing cases.
- Not-for-profit (NFP) organisations that provide specialist level legal advice to people discriminated or disadvantaged by their migration status. If you work for a NFP organisation regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and are applying to undertake work in the asylum or immigration field, you must confirm that staff leading on the proposed work are accredited at Level 3, Advocacy and Representation, in the relevant category of law.
- Firms of solicitors that provide specialist level legal advice to people discriminated or disadvantaged by their migration status. Solicitors’ firms need to demonstrate that the funded work does not include any element of profit and that there is a pro bono element included.
- All applicants must demonstrate that staff has appropriate skills, experience and expertise to undertake the strategic legal work proposed.
- All applicants are asked to provide supporting documents with their application, for example annual accounts, governing documents, or other financial information.
- The SLF welcomes applications from specialist legal representatives working in partnership with voluntary and community groups, who may be able to assist with research, gathering evidence and identifying clients. This type of application should be made by the legal representative with the other organisation(s) being sub-contracted to do the work at an appropriate rate.
For more information, visit The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.