At Osbornes Law we endeavour to use the law as a means for delivering social justice to the community that we serve. We work to protect and fight for individuals’ rights.
In order to do this sometimes it is necessary to bring strategic litigation against a public body with a view to challenging a particular rule, policy or law. This may involve challenges under Human Rights legislation or the Equality Act.
Osbornes specialist social justice team is able to run such cases under our Public Law Contract, and you can find out further information on our Public Law page.
As Osbornes holds legal aid contracts in Housing, Community Care, Welfare Benefits, Family Law and Public Law we are well placed to advise and assist clients on a wide breadth of legal issues. We also look to use these skills and experience in bringing strategic litigation where appropriate.
Below are some of the areas where we are able to pursue legal challenges and litigate against large organisations to bring about justice. They include:
- Decision making in relation to Universal Credit claims. We routinely see excessive delay in decision making by the Department of Work and Pensions. We have also come across numerous cases where people’s Universal Credit claim has been unlawfully terminated by simply closing down there online claim, without a lawful decision or notification of appeal rights. If you have been affected by these sorts of issues, or other problems in respect of Universal Credit please contact us to discuss.
- Problems for EU nationals securing settled status in the UK, under the government’s post-Brexit immigration proposals (known as the EU Settlement Scheme). There is currently an internal review process with the Home Office in respect of unsuccessful applications, but beyond that there is no formal right of appeal. Such challenges can only be brought by way of Judicial Review and this may be something with which we are able to assist.
- Refusals by government bodies and local authorities to allow access to housing assistance or welfare benefits to EU national who have been granted pre-settled status, rather than settled status, following applications made under the government’s EU Settlement Scheme . Access is denied to welfare benefits and housing if this is their only right to reside in the UK. It is arguable that to treat people with settled status (who have leave to remain in the UK with no restriction on recourse to public funds) in this way is contrary to EU law, which provides a right not to be discriminated against on the ground of nationality in comparison with UK nationals.
- The ability of migrants to access support. We routinely encounter refusals by public bodies to provide support to migrants as a result of their immigration status. Alternatively, there may be issues concerning the level of support provided by the Home Office or Local Authorities to migrants, which could be susceptible to challenge.
- The standard of housing provided to asylum seekers. Most asylum seekers will be accommodated by the Home Office pending a decision on their asylum claim. The standard of such accommodation is frequently poor, and there have been a number of stories in newspapers about failings in this respect. If you, or someone you know, are experiencing problems with an accommodation provider please contact us to see if we can assist.
- Challenging Local Authority’s housing allocation schemes, which govern the way in which social housing is allocated and administered. Our Social Justice team, led by William Ford. has experience and success of making these challenges. It can be possible to challenge allocation schemes on the basis of unlawful discrimination, or a failure to comply with the legislation that provides rules on how Local Authorities are to draft their allocation schemes.
- Challenges to systemic gatekeeping” by Local Housing Authorities. We routinely encounter cases of unlawful decision making when clients first approach local authorities to make a homeless application.
- Support for care leavers. We often act for young people who have been through the care system and are owed duties by their Local Authority upon turning 18. We have experience of bringing challenges to force Local Authorities to afford young people the rights of a care leaver, even where they do not meet the criteria of having been accommodated for 13 weeks by the Local Authority between the ages of 14 and 17.
Social Justice Cases
Cases can arise where had the Local Authority applied the law correctly at the time, the child would have been accommodated by Social Services, but this has not happened. It can then be possible to bring a claim for Judicial Review in certain circumstances where the Local Authority refuses to treat that young person in the same way as they would a care leaver.
- Cuts to services in the age of austerity. With ever dwindling budgets it is not uncommon to see local services being cut by Local Authorities. In some cases it may be possible to challenge these types of decision by way of a claim for Judicial Review.
For a confidential discussion regarding your personal situation call 020 7485 8811 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you, when convenient.