Public Law & Human Rights
At Fisher Jones Greenwood, our breadth of public law, human rights, commercial and claimant expertise enables us to offer a seamless public law service to institutional, commercial and individual clients. Whether you are a public authority, an association, charity, commercial enterprise or an individual, our lawyers offer comprehensive advice and representation.
What is Public Law?
Public law is the body of law which relates to decisions made by public authorities, such as the government, local authorities and any other body which carries out a public function.
FJG lawyers act for Claimants and Defendant Parties. We believe this enhances the quality of our services. We can advise tactically on your case from each side’s perspective.
Public law covers a vast range of public authority activity. By way of example, our recent case work includes:
- Access to statutory services including services for the disabled, the elderly and ‘Looked-After’ children, or ‘Children in Need’.
- Professional regulation, including appeals to the Care Standards Tribunal against decisions to list individuals on the Protection of Children Act List (PoCA); List 99; or the Protection of Vulnerable Adults List (PoVA).
- Business regulation, including decisions by Ofsted, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and local authorities etc.
- Powers and decisions of the Inland Revenue, Secretary of State for the Home Department (Immigration and Nationality issues), Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (welfare benefits issues) and the local Government Ombudsman’s power to investigate.
Public funding – ‘Legal Aid’
Fisher Jones Greenwood is one of the few firms of solicitors in England and Wales to hold a public law contract with the Legal Aid Agency. Legal Aid may be available to fund judicial review proceedings, dependent on income and merits of a claim.To find out if you are eligible for legal aid, please call one of our Family Law Specialists, or make an enquiry.
Judicial review is the legal procedure which enables individuals to challenge the decisions of public authorities once other complaints procedures have been exhausted. Judicial review claims are brought on grounds that a particular decision has been made unlawfully, irregularly, or unfairly. For example, Claimants assert that the decision maker may have applied the incorrect procedure or taken account of some irrelevant or incorrect information when arriving at a final decision.
Claims may also be brought in circumstances where individuals believe a public authority has violated their human rights under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Unlawful or irrational decisions by public authorities can cause great injustice for individuals who may be denied access to statutory services, such as respite care. They can also lead to the loss of a person’s right to seek employment in the care or education sectors, or may prevent them from operating their businesses.
Parties Must Act Quickly!
Judicial review claims must be brought as soon as possible, and within three months of any unfavourable decision. The deadline is even shorter in some special cases. Claimants therefore require urgent advice on their claims, whilst Defendants should seek early advice on dispute resolution as a means of avoiding judicial review proceedings.
Contact us today on 01206 835300 for further information and advice.
The team has extensive experience of working with children, in particular with vulnerable and disabled children and unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
We work closely with children and young people, and have expertise in tackling sensitive issues and work co-operatively, where appropriate, alongside other agencies and professionals to ensure children are represented.
We can offer a wide range of advice on difficult and complex issues, such as:
- Access to support and housing from Social Services for children and young people under S 17 and 20 Children Act 1989
- Access to education (see our Education page)
- Advice and representation in connection with applications for leave to remain and asylum for children and young people
- Challenges to detention
- Challenges to decisions by public bodies and government departments, as well as to policy and legislation
- Human rights
The firm has a strong team of lawyers focused on protecting client’s human rights to liberty and fundamental freedoms.
The team routinely litigates against government departments like the Home Office in connection with unlawful detention, abuse of power, breaches of client’s human rights and misfeasance in public office.
The firm has a legal aid contract in public law, meaning those clients who are eligible can be assisted for legal aid. Competitive fees and CFAs in appropriate cases are also available.
We can offer advice on a wide range of cases, from privately funded clients to clients needing legal help and legal aid.
Some types of cases where we can assist are set out below:
- Access to Continuing Care
- Care Packages and Direct Payments
- Access to Services for Disabled Children and Adults
- Carers Rights
- Cases concerning capacity and Court of Protection
- Challenges to decisions of the NHS and Social Services by way of Judicial Review
- Advice on choice of care home and care home funding
- Carer’s Rights
- Equipment and Home Adaptations
- Wills and Trusts
- Access to support and housing for people from abroad