GLC’s Public Interest Litigation Unit gets underway in Scotland

GLC'S principal solicitor, Mike Dailly
GLC’S principal solicitor, Mike Dailly

Govan Law Centre has established a Public Interest Litigation Unit (PILU) which aims to offer a new service to advice agencies, charities, community groups and campaigners across Scotland.

The centre has 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.

It said the PILU seeks to advance human rights, equality and financial inclusion through the use of strategic public interest litigation in Scotland.

The PILU 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 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).

The centre said its criteria for undertaking research and litigation will include 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.

It 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.

The PILU is headed up by GLC’S principal solicitor, Mike Dailly, with the support of the legal team at Govan and Govanhill law centres.

The centre is also interested in hearing from any advocates, and solicitors in private practice, who may be interested in giving up some time to work with the PILU.

E-mail as the first point of contact.

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