We have already identified some significant test cases affecting tens of thousands of vulnerable Scots which we are currently progressing, in partnership with a national charity in Scotland.
Our Public Interest Litigation Unit (PILU) seeks to advance human rights, equality and financial inclusion through the use of strategic public interest litigation in Scotland.
We will have a particular focus on mitigating the impact of the austerity agenda, with its resultant cuts to welfare benefits and essential public services. Public interest litigation is the use of legal action which seeks to advance the cause of minority or disadvantaged groups or individuals, or which seeks to progressively advance issues of significant public concern.
PILU's remit cuts across all areas of unmet legal need (for example, public law and judicial review, disability and welfare rights, social work law, consumer credit and financial services, housing, health and education law, to name just some legal areas).
Where an advice agency, charity, community group or campaigners think they may have a potential issue/case where there is an injustice with a wider public interest we may be able to help.
Our criteria for undertaking research and litigation will include our assessments on whether there is (a) an unmet legal need (b) strategic public interest in Scotland or the UK (c) a stateable legal case and (d) whether we have sufficient funding for litigation.
We will be able to offer access to in-house solicitor advocates and a range of specialist in-house legal experience. Services will include identifying strategic legal arguments supported by case law, producing legal opinions, developing test case strategies, working with solicitor advocates and advocates in the progress of test cases, and developing and supporting wider campaign plans.
To discuss whether our PILU may be able to assist please e-mail in the first instance Deirdre Flanigan on pilu @ govanlc.com The PILU is headed up by our Principal Solicitor, Mike Dailly, with the support of the legal team at Govan and Govanhill Law Centres.
We are also interested to hear from any advocates, and solicitors in private practice, who may be interested in giving up some time to work with our PILU, or any other ideas that you may have to co-operate in the development of more effective strategic public interest litigation in Scotland. Please feel free to e-mail pilu @ govanlc.com as the first point of contact.