Building a future for JUSTICE Support us to make the justice system accessible for everyone
59 Carter Lane London EC4V 5AQ firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7329 5100
No one should be denied access to justice A justice system that is fair, equal and accessible for all is achievable, but at the moment is illusory for huge swathes of the population. While for people of means it is a Rolls Royce system, for very many people, including the most disadvantaged, the prospect of going to court is not only incredibly daunting, it is unrealistic. With developments in IT and a reform minded senior judiciary, the time is nigh for radical change in how the justice system in the UK works. JUSTICE has been at the forefront of reimagining our legal system for 60 years, and I am passionate about its role in making justice a reality for thousands of people. At this time of uncertain change, it is all the more important that we safeguard the rule of law and the justice system that underpins it. It is for this reason that we need to preserve and grow JUSTICE’s capacity to generate expert proposals for radical reform of the justice system. Our bold target is to raise £1.2 million by the end of 2017 to help us undergo major refurbishment of our office building which will guarantee JUSTICE’s vital role in strengthening the justice system and make a real difference in people’s lives for years to come. To achieve this, we need the help of people like you, visionary supporters, who can support us to build JUSTICE’s capacity to develop and promote recommendations for reform. JUSTICE has a demonstrated track record of inspiring and working with those responsible for law reform to strengthen our system. With your help, we can make the justice system work better for all, today and for years to come.
Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws QC President, JUSTICE Council
Who we are
What we do
JUSTICE is an all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system in the United Kingdom.
1. We carry out research and analysis to generate, develop and evaluate ideas for law reform. In doing so, we draw on evidence, experience and expertise from the UK and across the world.
Our vision is of fair, accessible and efficient legal processes, in which the individualâ€™s rights are protected, and which reflect the countryâ€™s international reputation for upholding and promoting the rule of law.
2. We intervene in superior domestic and international courts, sharing research, analysis and arguments with courts to support their work and promote strong and effective legal judgments.
JUSTICE is a membership organisation, primarily of the legal profession, representing judges, barristers, solicitors, academic lawyers, law students and interested non-lawyers. Because JUSTICE is not party political, we command respect across the political spectrum and have representatives from each of the main political parties on our advisory body.
3. We promote better understanding of the fair administration of justice among political decisionmakers and public servants. 4. We bring people together to discuss critical issues about the justice system, and to provide a thoughtful legal framework to policy debates. We work hard to ensure that every person has somewhere to turn in defence of their rights and legal claims. Our work touches the lives of people across the UK who deserve the protection of a strong justice system.
A great opportunity for change For most people the justice system in the UK is unaffordable and out of reach. Spiralling court and lawyersâ€™ fees, reduced legal aid and complex legal processes risk creating a two-tier justice system: a first-class service for the wealthy and an inaccessible, unfair service for everyone else.
The justice system in this country has constantly evolved and we need to ensure that it continues to develop with the needs of individuals at its heart. JUSTICE believes that the best and most efficient way of ensuring that every person can access justice is by changing the system.
The most vulnerable bear the brunt. The poor and marginalised, those with mental health problems, young people and ethnic minorities are most likely to find themselves in criminal courts, as victims, defendants and witnesses; and are more likely to need to assert their rights with respect to benefits; or end up in civil courts for matters such as debt recovery and repossession.
Simply increasing legal aid, though vital in some cases, does not cater for the millions who have always been ineligible for legal aid but are effectively priced out of the market.
Just watched as court sent unrepresented defendant to prison. He didnâ€™t say a word through the hearing save for his name and date of birth. Turns out he was deaf.â€?
We are presented with a great opportunity to bring about fundamental change to our justice system.
Twitter post by Oliver Gardner, from Justice denied? The experience of unrepresented defendants in the criminal courts by Transform Justice.
Jennifer’s story Fearing for the safety of her baby daughter Rose, Jennifer sought to prevent Rose’s father access to her. Jennifer found herself caught in a traumatic three-year custody battle, forced to represent herself because she could not afford legal representation. Jennifer’s lack of legal knowledge meant she hardly understood her case. Arguing against a lawyer was intimidating and the fear of losing her daughter caused her great emotional stress. She could not communicate the violent history of her relationship and at one point fainted in court. Social services interpreted her anxiety as evidence that she was a ‘bad mother’ and threatened to take Rose away. It is situations like these which JUSTICE wants to make a thing of the past. When I had to face him in court, I tried to defend myself but couldn’t get my points across or even speak.” Jennifer (not her real name)
Our approach works Established in 1957, JUSTICE leads the way in reimagining how the justice system can work better. Indeed, we have had a huge impact on legal reform as our most recent reports show: 1. Delivering Justice in an Age of Austerity (2015) – underpins major civil justice reforms, which include new investigative approaches to adjudication in the civil courts, greater emphasis on dispute resolution and the introduction of an online court which, when set up, will dramatically increase access to justice for ordinary people. 2. Complex and Lengthy Trials (2016) – made proposals that help to make complex and lengthy criminal trials – like fraud – shorter, cheaper and less complicated for the people involved. 3. What is a Court? (2016) – proposed radical reconfiguration of the use of the court and tribunal estate. JUSTICE suggests establishing new and flexible “justice spaces” that prioritise the needs of court users above everything else.
We are committed to seeing reform in the areas it is most needed. With this aim in mind, we are turning our attention to: 1. Ways of increasing the diversity of our senior judiciary, currently one of the least diverse in the Western world. 2. Improving the experience of the very many defendants with mental health problems in our criminal justice system. 3. Increasing quality legal advice in Scottish police stations. 4. Proposing fairer and more efficient immigration and asylum procedures. 5. Exploring how sexual offences cases can be tried more fairly and humanely in our criminal justice system. 6. How the justice system should be funded, given the deleterious effect of rising court and tribunal fees.
Taking the next step We plan to transform JUSTICE into a more effective, public-facing and forward-looking organisation that will contribute significantly to radical reform of the justice system. We will achieve this by creating a space that works for JUSTICE. JUSTICE’s office building at 59 Carter Lane, London is central to our work and success, but the present configuration and condition of the building is limiting our ability to pursue our vision. By remodelling our offices, we will improve services and contribute to real change in people’s lives. To unlock our potential, we plan to: • Create flexible working spaces – JUSTICE needs to support creative and adaptable working for its staff and will do so by creating modern offices with flexible working spaces and meeting areas. • Provide for a Pop Up Court – Following recommendations from JUSTICE’s What is a Court? report, we plan to create a space suitable for a Pop Up Court and commercial mediation space in the building. This would demonstrate our work in action.
• Improve member support – We will create multi-functional drop-in spaces that encourage networking and learning for JUSTICE’s members and provide space for remote working. • Reach out to the local community – The plan includes a ‘shop-front’ window at street level that will give JUSTICE a greater presence in the area and, with a regular schedule of out-reach events, provide opportunities to invite members of the community to learn about the justice system. • Make JUSTICE more self-sufficient – Rental from the additional office space created and from hiring out the new meeting rooms and Pop Up Court will provide a valuable income stream which will make JUSTICE more self-sufficient and sustainable.
The original shop front of 59 Carter Lane
The building project Basement
Co-working hub making JUSTICE members and staff more productive
A Pop Up Court increasing access to justice for court users
Shop front opening JUSTICE up to the local community
Meeting spaces and IT facilities for hire making JUSTICE more self-sufficient
How you can help
JUSTICE’s ambitious goal of raising £1.2 million will change the lives of people across the UK who desperately need access to the justice system. But to carry out this vital work we need to grow our staff and have offices that are fit-for-purpose. Every time the justice system fails, it affects people’s lives. We cannot afford to stand by and do nothing when it is possible to ensure that everyone has access to a legal system that works for them.
By supporting JUSTICE, you will empower us to find ways to achieve a fairer, accessible and effective justice system. Because we focus on structural change and not just individual cases, your donation will go much further and create a bigger impact. You will also give momentum to our fundraising and help to leverage further support from individuals, companies and institutions. For nearly 60 years JUSTICE has been at the forefront of reimagining the justice system. We have much to thank it for and it deserves our support.” Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
Recognising your support
By making a transformative gift to JUSTICE, you will join our most exclusive group of visionary supporters. We would like to thank you for your contribution in one or more of the following ways: 1. Naming opportunities – our most generous supporters will have first choice at naming a part of JUSTICE’s refurbished building, in appreciation of the support they give. We plan to reconfigure every floor in the building providing unique opportunities to name different spaces after our biggest supporters. 2. Recognition in our Annual Review and on JUSTICE’s Wall of Thanks which will display the names of our key supporters. 3. Opportunities to meet our policy team to witness first-hand how we bring about the much-needed change of our legal system. 4. Invitations to our exclusive private events, with opportunities to meet some of the most eminent members of the judiciary, both Houses of Parliament and JUSTICE’s membership.
We would love the chance to talk to you about these opportunities, and how you can help make an expansion of our work a reality. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch with Keith Kibirango. email@example.com 020 7762 6423 59 Carter Lane, London, EC4V 5AQ
Support us to make the justice system accessible for everyone.