The Public Law Project (PLP) and the Lankelly Chase Foundation are collaborating on an innovative pilot project to develop frontline organisations’ understanding of public law and to identify strategies to challenge unfair systems.
The pilot builds upon the longstanding relationship between the two organisations, reflecting a shared commitment to using the law to help bring about social change. Lankelly Chase supports frontline organisations that address how disadvantage clusters and accumulates, particularly homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, violence, abuse and chronic poverty. PLP is working closely with a range of these organisations to understand the barriers faced by their service users. PLP is listening to partners’ areas of key concern. Where appropriate, PLP is upskilling and assisting them to effectively use public law to address the particular systemic unfairness they are confronting. Through this project, PLP is assisting partners to use public law in a number of creative ways, including consultation responses, Parliamentary questions, and negotiations with decision makers, as well as strategic litigation.
The PLP project team consists of Sara Lomri, Joe Vester, Ollie Persey and Jo Hickman. The project is assisted by two academics from University College London (UCL), Dr Lisa Vanhala and Jacqueline Kinghan, who are acting as ‘learning partners’, to expand understanding of how public law can help effect systemic legal change. The organisations in this pilot are:
- Agenda supports women and girls at risk. It has a particular focus on mental health issues and the criminal justice system
- Anawim is a Birmingham based women’s centre working with disadvantaged women vulnerable to prostitution
- Black Training and Enterprise Group is a networking organisation supporting over 1200 BAME civil society organisations across the country
- Centre for Criminal Appeals seeks to bring change to the criminal law in England and Wales
- Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) works with services to end, and reduce the impact of, domestic violence against women and children
- Family Rights Group supports the families of vulnerable children, including those in the care system
- Friends, Families and Travellers (FTT)seeks to end racism and discrimination against Gypsies, Travellers and Roma and to protect the right to pursue a nomadic way of life
- Homeless Link represents organisations on the frontline of homelessness and supported housing in England – campaigning on their behalf and working to promote the support they offer
- Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange (GATE)is a membership organisation for Gypsy and Traveller people in West Yorkshire.
- National Survivor User Network (NSUN)is a user led network that connects people with experience of mental health issues
- Open Book works to break down barriers that discourage people from entering higher education.
- Revolving Doors Agency aims to address the revolving door of crisis and crime through policy initiatives and collaborative work with other organisations
- Together provides a range of mental health services, from one-to-one support in the community to supported accommodation and making sure people understand and are able to express their needs in their dealings with official bodies.
Description of PLP
PLP is a national legal charity which aims to improve access to public law remedies for those whose access to justice is restricted by poverty or some other form of disadvantage.
Within this broad remit PLP has adopted three main objectives:
- increasing the accountability of public decision-makers;
- enhancing the quality of public decision-making;
- improving access to justice.
Uniquely for an organisation of its kind, PLP undertakes research, policy initiatives, casework and training across the range of public law remedies.