HCLC provides legal advice and representation which works towards the relief of poverty, discrimination and injustice by providing legal advice and assistance to low paid and unemployed persons on legal matters in the following areas of law: debt, employment, housing, immigration and welfare benefits.
Our time is spent on providing legal casework in complex cases this often involves tribunal or court proceedings. We represent on a regular basis in the county court with housing cases and at tribunal hearings with social security and immigration cases
We also aim to highlight injustice that we find in individual cases to bring about social change by challenging local and national government.
Social Policy – Legal Action in the Community
Alongside our casework for individuals we also see social policy as an essential part of our work.
Social policy work involves highlighting general legal problems and issues that the community has raised with us. It may just be one issue affecting one person, that legally is significant. It maybe the same issue affecting lots of people.
Often there is no strict legal solution, and it maybe that the law or policy needs changing.
The Law Centre aims to highlight, for instance, when services are failing and to link individual legal problems to broader questions of local or national policy and practice to improve social inclusion.
The majority of our clients are disproportionately unemployed or in low paid work, disabled or suffer from long term health problems.
Many of our clients are from ethnic minorities. Many of our clients are asylum seekers, refugees, the elderly or live in poor housing conditions. Whilst solutions can be found on a case by case basis – we recognise that, when we can, we need to tackle the cause and not just the symptoms.
We also work with other organisations to raise the awareness of wider policy issues that need to be changed.