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Law Centres Network - Bulletin 
Bulletin 24 /2014
UPDATES

The Joy of Billing  -  Practical training:  Legal Aid Certificated Costs Recovery
MANCHESTER 10th September 2014 
This one-day practical course will look at how to reduce stress, manage your caseload more effectively and increase your Law Centre’s income. It will include an overview of what can be claimed and a practical run through of the procedures for recovering your costs from both the LAA and the other side.
The course is free and is funded by Barings Foundation.
Click here for more information and to book online 

Lexis Nexis Free Trial and Free Training - save the date 1st September 2014
LexisLibrary and Lexis PSL are online services that provides quick access to legal information, covering many issues,  for many types of legal matters. It provides essential practice expertise, sourced, created and organised on line by Lexis Nexis’ Professional Support Lawyers. 
Following requests from Law Centres over a number of years, LCN negotiated a much reduced 3 year subscription rate for Law Centres. The licence we have offers on line access to the FULL LexisLibrary service and LexisPSL - see below for further details. 
Law Centres who are using the service have found it invaluable.
FREE TRIAL 
If you haven't subscribed or are not sure whether it would be useful why not register for a week’s free trial HERE 
Use the user guides to make the most your trial week and encourage your caseworkers to look at what is available. If you would like more information once you have tried it out please contact Vicki@lawcentres.org.uk or Stella@lawcentres.org.uk
We are also having an afternoon of training for current users and potential users on the 1st September. Please watch our events section for booking details coming soon. 


Funding opportunity: Promoting knowledge of tenants’ rights & responsibilities
The TDS FOUNDATION IS Inviting proposals for educating tenants, particularly students, about rights and responsibilities. The deadline is 9th September; maximum grant £20,000; £35,000 only is available in this round.
The application is relatively straightforward including details on objectives, outcomes and timescale. However, given that competition is likely to be high, proposals will need to be well thought through, realistic and proportionate to what you want to achieve
Law Centres may want to consider what ‘edge’ you have in hand: evidence base of need or tenants’ lack of knowledge, follow up telephone advice service, complementary projects, access to student forums etc. Consider how connections with volunteer students / colleges may assist in getting you direct evidence; for example collecting from a quick round of surveys/questionnaires at freshers’ week or from college staff. Click TDS foundation website  for more information.

Extract from criteria:
Promoting knowledge of landlords’ obligations
It is clear that the growth of the private rented sector has been fuelled in recent years in part by the rise of the ‘accidental landlord’.  This is often a person who owns property but who is required by circumstances to let the property.  These landlords tend to be inexperienced and not fully understand the obligations that they have to meet as a landlord. The Foundation will invite proposals that will help to educate such landlords about the obligations of being a private landlord.
Promoting knowledge of tenants’ rights & responsibilities
The Foundation is aware that many tenants are not fully aware of their rights and responsibilities and the Foundation will invite proposals which will help educate tenants about their rights and responsibilities.  A particular focus of this will be the student market.
The Foundation will invite proposals that will help to educate tenants.
 
Can You Help?

Home Office informal consultation - immigration PAP proforma
 
Please find here details of an informal consultation being run by the Home Office. The consultation relates to the proposal to introduce a proforma template for Pre Action Protocol (PAP) letters in immigration, nationality and asylum matters. The closing date for responses is 11th September.   
They welcome your views and comments on this proposal. A full list of consultees is attached at annex B. If you are aware of other individuals or organisations who may wish to comment, please feel free to forward the document on.

Equality and Human Rights Commission calls for evidence on religion or belief issues
 
The EHRC has today launched a major call for evidence from individuals and organisations about how their religion or belief, or that of other people, may have affected their experiences in the workplace and in using the services and facilities they need in everyday life. People can give their feedback on the EHRC website.
The call for evidence will remain open for responses for two months, until mid-October. The Commission wants to know about both negative and positive experiences since 2010, including:
  • How religion or belief has affected the recent experiences of job applicants, employees or customers
  • Whether people who hold a religion or belief are aware of their legal rights and if appropriate information and guidance is available to them
  • Views on the effectiveness of current equality and human rights legislation on religion or belief
  • The recent experiences of employers when these issues arise in the workplace
  • The recent experience of organisations providing services to the public when issues around religion or belief are raised.
Law Centres in the News

Kirklees Law Centre has had a victory at the First Tier Tribunal over a Bedroom Tax case. The story is reported on the BBC’s website at with more details on Nearly Legal and has since featured in discussions panning the LAA. One senior judge challenged government over legal aid - see the Guardian, three judges have since panned the LAA for refusing legal aid in an Upper Tribunal ESA case.

 
 
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