Access justice and thrive
Chahla and her son, who were helped by Islington law centre with their complex immigration case
Photo: Alice Mutasa, www.placesandseasons.com
Who we are
Justice Together aims to ensure that people who use the UK immigration system can access justice and thrive.
Justice Together is a unique collaboration by independent funders in the UK. It will invest in free legal advice and national policy advocacy to support the lawful and fair functioning of immigration, nationality and asylum processes.
Over the next five years, more than £9 million of new funding has been committed by founding funders with others likely to join.
Contributing funders include: Paul Hamlyn Foundation, AB Charitable Trust, Baring Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Comic Relief, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Oak Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy, Trust for London and Tudor Trust.
Justice Together is hosted by Justice Collaborations, a registered charity and subsidiary of The Legal Education Foundation
Hazel has worked and volunteered in the refugee and humanitarian sector for 17 years, in various roles in the UK, Europe and Sudan. Most recently she was the National Director at NACCOM, a national network of organisations working to end destitution amongst migrants. Prior to this she was the Director at the Asylum Support Appeals Project, a charity providing access to justice for people seeking asylum. She is currently the Chair of the Metropolitan Migration Foundation and a consultant Elder with Doulas Without Borders.
She has a degree in Law, and is based in Whitley Bay on the beautiful North East coast, so when she isn’t working she’s on the beach – or sometimes trying to do both!
Laura is a social justice leader and US-qualified lawyer with twenty years of experience advocating for equality and human rights in the US and UK. Most recently, she was the Director of the Health Justice Program at the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, where she brought an immigrant and racial justice focus to health justice advocacy campaigns. Before joining NYLPI, Laura worked at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice as a Senior Attorney litigating strategic federal and state class action cases seeking systemic reform in the public benefits system. Prior to NCLEJ, Laura was a Senior Legal Officer at the Commission for Racial Equality in the United Kingdom and a judicial law clerk (judicial assistant) for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Staff Attorneys’ Office. Laura has a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, MA and an M.Sc. in Gender Studies from Birkbeck College.
Prior to starting at Justice Together Initiative, Fidelia worked as a Grants Officer for the Research Project Grant scheme at the Leverhulme Trust. Her other experience has been varied and ranges from teaching in a state school in Bucaramanga, Colombia, to administrative work at a number of London schools and working at a Buddhist centre in South London. She has also volunteered and fundraised for a number of small London based charities.
She has a degree in Psychology (with a dissertation on the emotional response to music), is based in South London and when time permits is usually found meditating or experimenting with yet another recipe for pistachio and lemon cake.
What we will do
Justice Together will help people access legal advice and representation, strengthen sector organisations over the long term, and coordinate to achieve wider improvements so that advice is accessible, effective and sustainably resourced.
As well as offering funding, we will support partners to improve the power and influence of people who use the system.
Justice Together aims to operate for a decade. Funding will target particular regions and areas of need, to be decided based on mapping, further research and consultation with stakeholders.
The initiative responds to the challenges faced by the legal advice sector, and evidence that people in communities around the UK are struggling to access justice.
Funders recognise that this initiative cannot fill the gap left by the removal of public funding. However, trusts and foundations provide vital independent resource for legal advice and representation on immigration, nationality and asylum law.
Justice Together is rooted in the belief that a better coordinated and more strategic approach will help address these systemic challenges in partnership with the non-profit sector.
Justice Together was announced before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. We know that this changes the context for our work. We are working with partners to understand the impact on access to justice, and on the charitable sector. Many of our contributing funders are also involved in direct emergency support to organisations, such as the London Community Response Fund and the Community Justice Fund.
Justice Together was announced in February 2020.
Hazel Williams has been appointed to lead the initiative, working with the legal and migration sectors, with directly affected communities, and with the contributing funders to develop the strategy and operating model, build relationships and an evidence and learning approach. Hazel is currently National Director at NACCOM, a membership organisation working to tackle migrant destitution, and was previously Director of the Asylum Support Appeals Project. She is Chair of Metropolitan Migration Foundation and a Trustee of the North of England Refugee Service. Hazel will take up this role in August and we are now recruiting the rest of the team.
Further details of the geographical focus, staff team, the funding opportunities and the detailed timeframe for applications will be announced in the coming months.
Hazel Williams – Head of the Justice Together Initiative starts 3rd August
“Joining the Justice Together Initiative is the dream job for me, being able to combine my passion for all things law and justice to improve the lives of people in the UK who have migrated here. For so long I have witnessed the shocking damage that lack of quality legal advice can have on individuals, coupled with a complex legal system to navigate. It is an absolute privilege to be part of something that wants to right some of those wrongs and improve the system for people who just want to get on with their lives with dignity, respect and most importantly justice.
What is really exciting about the initiative is the opportunity to develop something from scratch that stands in solidarity with the sector and can do things differently from the beginning. Over the next few months we will be organising a series of roundtables and discussions to develop the initiative’s strategy with the aim of launching an initial grants round in the Autumn”
Fidelia Elias - Grants Officer for the Justice Together Initiative starts 17th August
“I am thrilled to be joining the Justice Together Initiative. My passion for the role is informed by my direct lived experience and working for the initiative will enable me to use my prior experience to contribute professionally to what is an invaluable and much needed initiative.”
Laura Redman will be starting as the Deputy Head of the Justice Together Initiative on the 9th September 2020
"As someone with relative privilege and a law degree who has navigated the UK immigration system on three occasions and still hit barriers and hurdles, I am very excited to ensure that others have access to support enabling them to access justice in what is a very complex and convoluted system. It is an honor to be able to bring my experiences creating and implementing holistic and multi-disciplined immigrant justice programs in the US to Justice Together, a bright spot in an otherwise challenging time."
Justice Together draws on the experience of people in the immigration system, and on evidence and research. These include:
This summary outlines how voluntary sector organisations have improved the capacity, efficiency and accessibility of immigration advice provision across the UK. Commissioned by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Trust for London, the research identifies nine methods to increase the capacity of the not-for-profit sector to meet immigration advice needs, and offers valuable insights for funders, service providers and policymakers.
This report provides an overview of the immigration legal sector, examining the different types of immigration advisers, assessing the impact of the changes to legal aid and considering the groups most vulnerable to harm or injustice due to a lack of immigration advice and representation. It provides valuable insight for funders, service providers and policy makers.
The author, Saira Grant, explains how the report evolved and the increased relevance of the findings in the context of COVID-19 in her blog.
Get in touch
Whether you would like to find out more about Justice Together, have a query about funding applications, or would like to support us in some way, we would be pleased to hear from you.
Please contact us using the form below.
You can also find us on Twitter @justice_tog