The Public Interest Law Centre works to defend the legal rights of the community, but particularly the working class. We specialise in public law and also actions against public authorities.
The Public Interest Law Centre is unique amongst the 30+ law centres in that our legal work is not based on a community, such as our host Lambeth Law Centre, we operate within two distinct areas of law – public law and actions against local authorities. We offer legal advice, casework and representation to individuals and groups from across London and the south east – in some circumstances nationally.
Our job is to consider those challenges to local and national government, and other public bodies, who are acting unlawfully, or have broken the law.
In public law where a public body has acted unlawfully we seek to challenge that through complaints procedures, challenges to tribunals and also through judicial review – that is bringing a case to the High Court. Judicial review is an important part of of work – it can halt a particular unlawful practice of a public body, or can lead to changing the law or regulation itself.
In actions against public authorities our casework and legal action seeks to hold the State to account and to bring private law claims against a range of public bodies including, the police, local authorities and government departments fro their unlawful actions.
We also aim for our work to be strategic – that is the case is popularised amongst many people, so not only is the law and rights better known but it can be used widely by people affected. We see strategic litigation as giving a voice to the voiceless, for working class communities and marginalised groups in particular. At its heart strategic litigation must have a strong, bold and wide campaign linked where possible to a media strategy.
The Public Interest Law Centre is an independent body and operates on a not-for-profit basis.
Above all, we exist to improve the daily lives of the people we represent, and to use law, as part of a wider strategy to assist social change.