Getting advice on taking your case to court
If you think your human rights have been breached it’s a good idea to get some specialist advice about the issue as early as possible. This will help you decide on the best course of action. You may find your problem is not actually a human rights issue, or that it is a combined human rights and discrimination issue. It could even relate to a different part of the law entirely.
It is particularly important to get good advice if you are considering legal action. Bringing a case under the Human Rights Act can be complicated. You will need specialist legal advice on the strength of your case, and then to guide you through the process if you take it to court.
Information and advice organisations
Here are some of the organisations that offer free advice, information and practical support on human rights issues.
The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS):
EASS runs a helpline that offers help and advice on issues relating to equality and human rights across England, Scotland and Wales.
Freephone Telephone: 0808 800 0082
Text phone: 0808 800 0084
The Citizens Advice service provides independent and confidential advice (including legal advice) and can help you find a solicitor. You can access help through your local Citizens Advice Bureau (which you can find via the contact details below), or by contacting your local authority’s information office at your nearest town hall.
Telephone: 03444 111 444 (England) 03444 77 20 20 (Wales)
Citizens Advice Scotland:
Website: www.cas.org.uk - for information on finding a local Citizens Advice Bureau
Telephone: 0808 800 9060 - Citizens Advice Direct who provide a free nationwide advice service on behalf of Citizens Advice Scotland and the Scottish Government.
The Law Centres Federation:
The Law Centres Federation coordinates a national network of community-based law centres in England and Northern Ireland. Law centres provide free and independent specialist legal advice and representation to people who live or work in their catchment areas. The Federation does not itself provide legal advice, but you can search for details of your nearest law centre on their website.
The Law Society:
The Law Society represents solicitors in England and Wales. Their website has an online directory of law firms and solicitors. The Society does not provide legal advice.
Telephone: 020 7320 5650 (for help with using the ‘Find a Solicitor’ service on their website).
The Law Society of Scotland:
The Law Society of Scotland represents solicitors in Scotland. Their website has an online directory of law firms and solicitors. The Society does not provide legal advice.
Telephone: +44 (0) 131 226 7411
Textphone: +44 (0) 131 476 8359
Fax: +44 (0) 131 225 2934
The Scottish Legal Aid Board
The Scottish Legal Aid Board is responsible for managing legal aid in Scotland. It does not offer legal advice, but you can use the helpline or the website to find out whether you qualify for legal aid, find a local legal aid solicitor or order their leaflets for more information.
Telephone: 0131 226 7061 (legal aid helpline)
The Scottish Association of Law Centres (SALC):
SALC represents Scotland’s community and user-controlled law centres. The site provides links to centres that offer free and independent advice on a wide range of subjects.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas):
Acas offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues. Their website offers lots of information on employment relations issues.
Telephone: 0300 123 1100
AdviceUK is a support network for independent advice agencies. They don’t advise the public directly, but you can search for advice centres on their website.
Liberty is an independent civil liberties and human rights organisation which runs an advice service for members of the public with human rights queries. Their website has lots of useful information on the Human Rights Act.
Telephone: 0845 123 2307 / 020 3145 0461 (advice line)
Rights of Women:
Rights of Women is a voluntary organisation dedicated to women’s rights. They operate a general advice line and four specialist help lines (family law, criminal law, women in London and immigration and asylum law).
Telephone: 020 7251 6575 (general line)
Press for Change:
Press for Change campaigns to achieve equal civil rights and liberties for all trans people in the UK through legislation and social change. The organisation has particular expertise in the application of Human Rights law.
Telephone: 08448 708 165 (advice line)
Last updated: 20 Feb 2017