CLM Legal Service 2024: Are you a Traveller experiencing accommodation difficulties? 

In 2023, Community Law & Mediation launched free legal advice clinics on accommodation issues specifically for members of the Traveller community. 

In 2024, we will continue to support Travellers with free legal advice on issues relating to accommodation, such as but not limited to, access to social housing, access to emergency accommodation and discrimination in accommodation matters. 

In our work as an independent law centre, we see a huge unmet need for legal advice for members of the Traveller community in accommodation issues.   

The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) has described the accommodation situation as an “accommodation crisis”. Travellers face specific challenges in accessing appropriate, quality and sustainable accommodation, as well as challenges in obtaining reasonable loans to cover the costs of accommodation and other essential living expenses. Issues with poor accommodation intersect with other areas of life, such as, health, education, employment, mental health and opportunity for social inclusion. Furthermore, Travellers experience both day-to-day and systemic discrimination, based on their identity, in trying to access accommodation.   

These free legal advice clinics aim to give meaningful access to justice for Travellers through providing legal advice around accommodation issues.  

When are the clinics taking place: 

Our next clinic will be held on Monday, the 25th of March, with appointments taking place between 11am and 1pm. We will update this page with further information when our next clinic dates are released. 

Each appointment is 40 minutes long. You are welcome to bring a friend, family member and/ or advocate with you to the appointment. 

How to book into the free legal advice clinics: 

To book into these clinics, you must contact us in advance of the clinic date. You can contact us: 

  • By phone on 01 847 7804; 

CLM Housing Law / Prevention of Homelessness Training Course

This training course will examine the law relating to homelessness in Ireland – what is the State’s obligations to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

This course will look at social housing supports, the application process, and the scheme of allocations. It will also explain tenancy rights.

The main outcomes will be

  • The prevention of homelessness for individuals and families who are at risk of losing their home.
  • Empowerment of individuals to advocate on their own behalf in respect of their housing and tenancy rights.
  • Up-skill other advocacy services and organisations in housing and tenancy rights.

Location
This course is a one-day course split over two half days on Zoom.

Cost

€200

Dates

  • Monday 19th February from 10am to 1pm
  • Tuesday 20th February from 10am to 1pm

For an application form click here or fill in the booking form below.

For more information please email education. 

Your Details

* Mandatory fields


Climate Conversations 2023: Response Template

The Climate Conversations Consultation is a key forum through which people can have their say on climate action, how it affects them, and policies they would like to see implemented. It is designed to inform the Climate Action Plan 2024.

Why does it matter?

Ireland’s Climate Action Plan, and its Annex of Actions, is published annually. Its purpose is to set out a roadmap for meeting Ireland’s 2021-2025 legally binding carbon budget, that is, the total amount of emissions that may be emitted in the State during a five-year period.

In 2019, Ireland was the second country in the world to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency. Despite this, Ireland remains the third worst emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. The latest projections by the Environmental Protection Agency and An Taisce show that Ireland will fall significantly short of its 2030 legally binding emissions reduction targets.

How to have your say:

The link to the survey is available here.

It takes approximately 20 minutes in total to complete.

The deadline is Friday September 8th at 5.30pm.

Community Law and Mediation’s Centre for Environmental Justice has prepared an “Environmental Justice” template response, which you can navigate below – please adapt it and make it your own, but use as much of it as you need.

• This section includes 5 multi-choice questions about your views on climate change.
• There is a comment box at the end where you can be honest about your feelings on the climate crisis. CLM provided the following response:

Following the hottest June and wettest July on record for Ireland, it is deeply troubling that Ireland’s emissions remain among the highest per capita in the EU. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently warned that the Climate Action Plan 2023 – if fully implemented – will exceed the first two legally-binding carbon budgets (2021-2025; 2026-2030) by 22%, “a significant margin.” The EPA has called for the urgent implementation of “policies that deliver emission reductions across all sectors in the short term” in order to adhere to the carbon budget program. In response to the EPA’s assessment, the Climate Change Advisory Council further warned that “The Government needs to set out credible and detailed implementation plans to enable us to achieve our ambitious targets.”

The Council previously highlighted in their 2021 and 2022 Annual Reports that considerable gaps remain between proposed climate action measures and implementation. CAP24 must therefore deliver “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented” reductions in emissions in order to limit the human rights impacts of climate change and to comply with Ireland’s legal duty to take climate action consistent with a 1.5°C threshold. The longer climate action is delayed, the more difficult it will be. As the impacts of climate change worsen, and as the window to remain within 1.5°C narrows, the policy response may become abrupt, forceful, and disorderly. Communities should instead be empowered and supported through an inclusive and fair transition.

• The first nine questions refer to the importance of different actors in delivering climate action, from individuals to the European Union.
• The following 6 questions refer to how well you think the Irish government is delivering on climate action.
• The final 3 questions ask about your engagement in climate action.
• A comment box at the end invites responses to: “Do you have any other comments you would like to add about climate action levels and responsibilities?” CLM provided the following response:

We do not consider the Irish government’s action on climate change to date to represent positive climate leadership. In relation to the Climate Action Plan (CAP) specifically, lessons must be taken from the failures of Climate Action Plan 2023 and its corresponding Annex of Actions. For example, neither the CAP23 nor its corresponding Annex of Actions quantified the reductions in emissions anticipated from the implementation of either specific or collective measures. While the CAP23 was published in December 2022, the Annex was only published in March 2023, it was not until June 2023 (i.e. more than 6 months after the publication of the CAP23) that the Environmental Protection Agency found that CAP23 was inconsistent with emission reduction requirements per Carbon Budgets 1 and 2.

Public assessment of various policies and measures included in CAP23 and its Annex is, as a result, very challenging. Delayed publication of the Annex hinders the Government’s capacity to deliver timely and full implementation of the Climate Action Plan. According to the Climate Action Plan 2023 Q1 Progress Report (published on May 4th 2023), a quarter of the Climate Action Plan 2023 Q1 measures have been delayed (25%). No proposals are made within the progress report to demonstrate how implementation shortfalls will be compensated by additional policies or measures to ensure compliance with Carbon Budget 1. The Government should identify, quantify, and measure policies (eg phase out the production and importation of fossil fuels) to ensure CAP24 and its Annex of Actions are fully consistent with Carbon Budgets 1 and 2, and include measures to ensure their successful and timely implementation.

•This section asks questions that relate to your understanding of climate change and where you source information about climate change.

•14 questions related to your understanding of climate change are asked in this section

One of the questions refers to the likelihood that climate change will cause a “global migration crisis.” This is irresponsible framing. Migration is a resilient and adaptive response to the climate crisis – it is not a crisis within itself, nor does it pose a threat to Ireland’s national security. Research has shown that framing climate migration as a “crisis” is likely to elicit backlash (see: Gillis, A., Geiger, N., Raimi, K. et al. Climate change–induced immigration to the United States has mixed influences on public support for climate change and migrants. Climatic Change 176, 48 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-023-03519-y)

Another of the questions refers to the importance of balancing emissions “sources” and “sinks”. The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change has described the extensive deployment of negative emissions technologies as ‘subject to multiple feasibility and sustainability constraints’. There is a danger that GHG removals will be seen as a substitute (rather than in addition) to immediate and significant emission reductions. The problem with an overreliance on GHG removals include the risk that carbon could leak back into the atmosphere; the risk of heightened competition for land; and the fact that most technologies are still only prospective and do not yet exist at scale. It is for this reason that scholars call for separate emissions reductions and GHG removals targets and for the urgent prioritisation of ‘much more ambitious, near term [emissions] reductions’.

•This section asks 29 questions about a range of actions that could be taken across areas like transport, food, home, and day-to-day activities.
•This section includes two comment boxes; the first invites you to include “any other actions that you think might have a big impact on reducing carbon emissions.” CLM orovided the following response:

Many of the sustainable options listed here (such as retrofitting, installation of a heat pump or solar panels) are not available or affordable to many people. These barriers need to be addressed. Much greater investment from the government is needed, ideally to cover the full cost of energy efficiency measures such as retrofit, to ensure that energy efficiency measures are available to all households, regardless of income or home ownership status. This is particularly important in the context of Ireland’s energy poverty crisis, where up to 40% of households are estimated to have experienced energy poverty last winter. CAP24 should seek to reduce energy poverty and energy emissions in tandem.

•The second (and final) comment box in section 4 invites you to include “any barriers not mentioned so far that you think prevent people of making more impactful actions.”

•CLM submitted the following response:

It is unclear why certain questions are included within this consultation, for instance, the questions related to pets. By way of comparison, the CAP23 provides no clarity as to how agricultural emissions will be reduced, particularly when a model of expansion seems set to continue for the agri-food sector. CAP23 furthermore does not clarify when the production and importation of fossil fuels will be entirely phased out. Fossil fuels are the primary contributor to climate change and account for 57% of Ireland’s overall emissions profile (SEAI). The CAP24 must address the primary causes of climate change, and it would be more empowering if this consultation engaged the public on questions of how the government can deliver reductions in emissions across all sectors of the economy, consistent with carbon budget 1, in a manner that is fair and brings the public along.

Many of the low-carbon alternatives suggested in this questionnaire (such as retrofitting, electric vehicles, and heat pumps) are simply not affordable or accessible to people living in Ireland, recently recognised as the most expensive country in the EU. Those who have contributed least to the climate crisis – low-income, one-parent families, and members of the Traveller community, for example – have no means of choosing lower carbon alternatives, and do not necessarily have the bandwidth to worry about such concerns (the “end of the world” v “the end of the month.”) Had this consultation asked about the proportion of one’s income allocated to rent and energy bills, and whether one has savings, for example – a more comprehensive response as to why one may not be positioned to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviours would be more clear. The evident onus placed on individual action through this consultation is disempowering and inconsistent with a human-rights approach to climate action.

•The final section asks some questions about you- such as your age, living arrangements, and employment status (you can choose to opt out of those questions if preferred).

That’s it! You’ve completed Climate Conversations 2023.

A Walk in their Shoes: Challenges for State Examination Students with Disabilities

Image of child writing school work

Mike (not his real name) is a sixth year student, like many, preparing for his Leaving Certificate (LC) exam. Along with the typical exam nerves, Mike is facing an additional barrier making it nearly impossible for him to feel confident about his upcoming exams. Mike is legally blind, and after applying to use the digital format of the LC exam papers, his request was denied by the State Examination Commission (SEC). So what does this mean for Mike who still must sit his LC exam?

With a situation like this, Mike needs a legal remedy. There are constitutional rights and equality laws which protect Mike from being discriminated against in the education system. If Mike had to sit the LC exam in the traditional format, the result of this would be hugely challenging. For instance, for Mike to take part in his maths exam, the exam paper would have to be enlarged on the day of the exam to such an extent that it would run to approximately 52 A3 pages.

Can the education system discriminate against students with disabilities when sitting exams?

By law, schools cannot discriminate against students during exam periods. To discriminate against a student on the ‘disability ground’ means there is less favourable treatment of a student due to their disability. In this case, disability is broadly defined to cover physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive, emotional and/ or medical conditions.

Discrimination in education, (as set out in the Equal Status Acts) can happen in multiple ways. In the case of Mike, he has been discriminated against by not being given reasonable accommodation to sit his LC exam from the SEC. However, more broadly, under the Equal Status Acts, a school has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities, and only if the school can demonstrate that it would be impossible or extremely difficult to teach other students and/or it would come at a considerable cost, can they refuse to make accommodations.

In Mike’s case, Community Law & Mediation’s children’s law solicitor assisted him and his parents in multiple ways. Firstly, our solicitor helped the family to make a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, alongside guiding them on communication with the SEC and Department of Education. Secondly, the solicitor instructed a barrister on their behalf and issued a letter to the SEC explaining the need for Mike to have the digital format LC exam papers, warning that plenary proceedings would be taken if the SEC failed to allow this. Through this assistance, the SEC listened to the concerns of Mike.

Yes, a solicitor is a trained legal professional who has a wide knowledge of the law. A solicitor will also understand and uphold the laws as set out in the Equal Status Acts, Employment Equality Acts and the Disability Act 2005. These laws all apply to issues of disability discrimination within the education system.

In Mike’s case, there was a successful outcome after the help of our solicitor. In October 2022, the SEC published the scheme of Reasonable Accommodations at Certificate Examinations for 2023. The scheme introduced examinations papers in PDF format for visually impaired LC students for the first time. Eligible students must be under the remit of the Visiting Teachers Service. The SEC will evaluate this pilot scheme following the 2023 examinations.

For Mike, this means he could sit his exams in a way that was accessible to him. For his parents, they found the assistance navigating the law and advocating on behalf of their family made the difference in vindicating their child’s rights.  

Worried about discrimination and want to talk to someone?

If you feel that you are facing challenges in education, such as, bullying or discrimination, we can offer you free legal advice on your individual situation. To contact us for free and confidential legal advice, you can:

Mediation FAQ: How to solve a dispute

What is mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process where parties in a dispute mutually agree to meet with a professional, impartial mediator. The mediator assists parties in finding ways to resolve a dispute. This helps them to work together towards an agreed solution.

What is the role of the mediator?

The main role of a mediator is to be impartial, treat all parties fairly and manage the mediation process. They facilitate parties to communicate effectively and consider the issues with a view of parties mutually agreeing an outcome. The Mediation Act 2017 governs all of our mediators. Additionally, the Mediators Institute of Irelands (MII) Code of Ethics and Practice binds our mediators.

Why choose mediation?

There is growth in the use of mediation services to resolve disputes, rather than going to court or arbitration. In court or arbitration, a third party decides the outcome based upon a presentation of the facts and law.

Benefits include:

  • Control: You have control over how you wish to resolve your dispute. A third party does not make any decisions.
  • Flexibility: You have more flexibility compared to court, which operates under strict rules.
  • Voluntary Process: It is a voluntary process. At any stage you, or indeed the mediator, can decide the session(s) are not productive and stop the process.
  • Confidential: Parties, including the mediator, agree not to disclose information arising in the session(s). Limits to confidentiality arise when required by law under section 10(2) of the Mediation Act 2017.
  • Speed: It can take a matter of hours or days to resolve a dispute, as opposed to months or even years.
  • Relationship Building: It helps parties to better understand each other. You can find avenues for resolution that you are both happy with.
  • Options:  If it fails, you can still explore other avenues to resolve your dispute such as the court process.
  • Cost: It is free.

What should I expect from a session?

You will need to be willing to work to resolve issues and to work through your difficulties. This means you should expect to discuss your position and try to listen to the other party too. Each party has an opportunity to voice concerns and to speak without interruption.

CLM uses a model of co-mediation. This involved two mediators in the mediation process. Mediation begins with the mediators meeting both parties separately. The mediators explain what mediation is, allowing each party time to talk about their issue(s) that need to be addressed. They also discuss what they would like to achieve through mediation. Once both parties agree to proceed, a further meeting is arranged and the process begins. At this point, parties will sign an agreement to mediate, which explains the ground rules for parties involved. Additionally, it outlines how and when the mediation process will be conducted.

Does the mediator decide for us?

The mediator does not decide for you. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process where the mediator acts impartially to help the parties come to a resolution.  The mediator’s role is not to determine facts, make a judgement of law or otherwise impose their solution. Mediators work in a “non-directive” manner, facilitating better communication and understanding between the parties. They also help them explore possible solutions to their dispute. Additionally, they assist the parties in drawing-up a written agreement that states the terms and conditions upon which they have decided to resolve their dispute.

How long will the process take?

Often, mediation can be completed in a single or even two sessions. However, it all depends on the type of dispute, its complexity and the preparedness of the parties to seek to resolve their differences in a non-adversarial setting. Some disputes are mediated in a few hours, while others, like family disputes, often require several, sometimes shorter sessions spread out over a number of weeks. The most one can expect would be six sessions with the mediator to thoroughly resolve all issues.

What if we can’t agree?

Generally speaking, up to 80% of all cases submitted to mediation do settle. However, there are some that do not. If you fail to reach a conclusion, you still have the right to resort to court or arbitration if those avenues are available to you.

What is an interim mediation settlement?

Both parties prepare and agree to an interim mediation settlement when going through the mediation process. This interim mediation settlement is subject to change, and therefore, is not enforceable at this point.  Near the end of the mediation process, a final mediation settlement is drawn up.

What is a mediation settlement?

During the mediation process, the mediator works with the parties to help them develop a mediation settlement agreeable to them. There is significant emphasis on how parties will interact in the future if they have an ongoing relationship.

What happens after the settlement is drawn up?

After the settlement process, there are further steps in the mediation process. The mediator will ensure that the parties are aware of their rights to each obtain independent advice (including legal advice) prior to signing any mediation settlement.

What is the status of the settlement in law?

Only the parties to the mediation can decide if a mediation settlement has been reached between them and whether this is to be enforceable. Unless the parties agree that the mediation settlement has no legal force until it is included into a formal legal agreement or contract to be signed by the parties, it will act as a contract between parties, pursuant to Section 11 (2) of the 2017 Mediation Act 2017.

Once a mediation settlement is agreed either party can apply to the court to have the mediation settlement enforced. The court will do so unless there are any concerns that the mediation settlement does not comply with section 11(a)(b) of the Mediation Act 2017.

Is there any charge or cost?

CLM provides a free mediation service to the community. We offer all clients an opportunity to make a voluntary donation to the service when their mediation sessions. Each party in a mediation case is required to pay a ten euro refundable deposit unless there are exceptional circumstances for not doing so. This deposit is refunded to the party at the end of their case, unless they have cancelled their mediation session three times or has not given at least 24 hours’ notice to a single cancellation.

I am in a dispute with another party. How do I get in contact with your Mediation Service?

Contact our Mediation Service to find out further information. Our offices are in Northside Civic Centre, Bunratty Road, Coolock, Dublin 17. You can also call us on 01 8477804 or send an email to MediationAdmin@CommunityLawandMediation.ie

mediation inforgraphic

Eviction Ban: Are you affected?

The Eviction Ban for Winter 2022/2023, which protected private renters from being evicted during the current cost-of-living and housing crises, has been lifted.

The effect of the Eviction Ban was to postpone the date upon which a tenant who had received a valid Notice of Termination had to leave their home. This meant that you didn’t have to leave your home for the duration of the Eviction Ban, even if you had received a valid Notice of Termination.

As the Eviction Ban has been lifted, the postponed termination dates are starting to take effect on a phased basis.

We set out below some information on your legal position if you have received a Notice of Termination.

When do I have to leave my home?

If you have been served with a valid Notice of Termination, you do not have to leave your home immediately.

The date upon which you have to leave your home (i.e. the termination date) depends on when you received the Notice of Termination and how long you have been in your home.

If your original termination date was between 30th October 2022 and 31st January 2023, your new termination date is as follows:

Duration of TenancyNew Termination Date
Less than 6 months1st May 2023
More than 6 months,
less than 1 year
1st May 2023
More than 1 year,
less than 7 years
15th April 2023
More than 7 years1st April 2023

If your original termination date was between 1st February 2023 and 31st March 2023, your new termination date is as follows:

Duration of TenancyNew Termination Date
Less than 6 months18th June 2023
More than 6 months,
less than 1 year
1st June 2023
More than 1 year,
less than 7 years
1st May 2023
More than 7 years1st April 2023

Is my Notice of Termination valid?

In order for a Notice of Termination to be valid, it must comply with the legal requirements as set out in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

A valid Notice of Termination must:

  1. Be copied to the RTB at the same time as it is served on the tenant. (From 6 July 2022, a Notice of Termination will be deemed invalid if the landlord does not send a copy to the RTB on the same day the notice is served to the tenant)   
  2. Be in writing (an email will not suffice).
  3. Be signed by the landlord or their authorised agent, as appropriate.
  4. Specify the date of service. This is the date the notice is posted, or hand delivered.
  5. State the grounds for termination (where the tenancy has lasted for more than 6 months or is a fixed term tenancy).
  6. Specify the termination date and also that the tenant has the whole of the 24 hours of this date to vacate possession.
  7. State that any issue as to the validity of the notice or the right of the landlord to serve it must be referred to the RTB within the time period permitted.  

Further information in relation to what a valid Notice of Termination looks like can be found here: Notices of Termination | Residential Tenancies Board (rtb.ie).

Can my landlord require me to leave my home immediately?

A landlord cannot require you to leave your home immediately. Furthermore, a landlord cannot physically remove you from your home, change the locks or cut off your electricity supply.

These are examples of illegal evictions. Further information in relation to illegal evictions can be found here: What is an illegal eviction? | Residential Tenancies Board (rtb.ie)

What should I do if I have received a Notice of Termination?

If you have received a Notice of Termination, you should check if the Notice of Termination is valid. If it is not valid, you may be able to challenge it in the RTB.

Since 6 July 2022, if a tenant has an issue with the validity of the Notice of Termination they have received, a tenant now has 90-days (from the receipt of the notice) to apply for Dispute Resolution with the RTB. This was increased from 28-days. 

If you are at risk of homelessness after receiving a Notice of Termination, you should contact your Local Authority.

Further help

  • FLAC
  • Mercy Community Law Centre
  • Ballymun Community Law Centre
  • Focus Ireland
  • Simon Community
  • Peter McVerry Trust

Latest IPCC report must be met with action, not words

Latest IPCC Report published today

Today the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Synthesis Report. This report provides an up-to-date understanding of climate change, its impacts, future risks and options for addressing it.

The IPCC report distils more than 10,000 pages of climate science from work carried out between 2018 and 2022.

It reflects an undeniable scientific consensus about the urgency of the climate crisis, its primary causes, and the catastrophic and irreversible harm that will occur if warming surpasses 1.5°C.

This report must be met with action, not words.

The window to remain within 1.5C is rapidly narrowing

Two years into Ireland’s first legally-binding carbon budget (2021-2025), Ireland’s emissions remain among the highest in the EU. Worryingly, the Annex of Actions to Ireland’s 2023 Climate Action Plan fails to clarify what level of emissions reductions the Plan will achieve in 2023 and beyond.

Further delay on transformative climate action risks an abrupt, forceful, and disorderly transition.

So, we call on the Government to:

  • Clarify whether the Climate Action Plan 2023 and Annex of Actions comply with Ireland’s 2021-2025 legally-binding carbon budget.
  • Accelerate the full implementation of the Climate Action Plan 2023.
  • Incorporate Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and the “Unallocated Emissions Reductions” into Ireland’s carbon budget programme.
  • Publish the Long-Term Climate Action Strategy, which is now more than three years overdue to the European Commission.

“Rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” must be socially just and protect and promote human rights

The IPCC report is clear: our house is on fire. There is no safe level of global warming. The impacts of the climate crisis at just over 1°C have already been devastating,  particularly within communities that have contributed least to the problem.[1]

In Ireland, responsibility for emissions is deeply uneven. The top 10% of the population contributed about a third of Ireland’s cumulative carbon emissions between 1990 and 2015. The cost of climate mitigation and adaptation measures must not fall on those who are least responsible.

It is essential that Ireland’s transition is underpinned by the principles of a Just Transition and the protection and promotion of human rights.

We call on the Government to:

  • Poverty-proof and equality-proof all climate policies to ensure that the cost of climate mitigation and adaptation measures do not fall on marginalised and vulnerable groups
  • Scale up the ambition of Ireland’s National Retrofit Plan to include all social housing and groups most at risk of energy poverty. Deliver free and reliable public transport across Ireland.
  • Halt new fossil fuel infrastructure, withdraw existing licenses from fossil fuel companies, and introduce a moratorium on new data centres.
  • Ensure a Just Transition by accelerating the establishment of a Just Transition Commission and embed the Just Transition guidelines across all government.

Above all, the IPCC report clearly demonstrates that solutions to the climate crisis are economically and technologically feasible. Amidst an abundance of alarming information and scientific warnings, what is needed is political will to mobilise Ireland’s just transition to a fossil-free future.

Find out more about CLM’s Centre for Environmental Justice and how we can help you here.

[1] Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N22/438/51/PDF/N2243851.pdf?OpenElement

Book Free Legal Advice Clinic Online

Book a free legal advice clinic through our new, online form.

You can now book our free legal advice clinics through our website. Once you submit your form, we will be in touch within 48 hours to book you into the free legal advice clinic which applies to your query.

To fill out the form, please click whether you want to be directed to our Limerick service or our Head Office (for all other counties) below:

Book in Limerick

Book in Head Office (for all other counties)

Our free legal advice consultation service is open to everyone. We provide free legal advice in Ireland in the areas of employment, social welfare, housing, family, child law and environmental justice. General queries are also welcome. So if you are having problems accessing your social welfare entitlements, if you are experiencing problems in the workplace, or if you are afraid of losing your home, we are here to help.

To find out more information, please click here.

Family Rights Advocacy Course- QQI Level 6

This course gives a basic understanding of the Irish legal system and family law in relation to advocacy in Ireland. Learners will develop an awareness of the main features of family law and understand how legislation impacts on relationship while becoming familiar with the legal language, procedures, and court documents relevant to the family law area. Learners will develop their advocacy skills and the ability to apply what they have learned to the workplace.  This course will cover any new legislation regarding family law in Ireland.


Participants who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Outline definitions of family to include those in Irish Legislation
  • Identify the functions of the Irish Courts in relation to families
  • Outline the rights, entitlements, services and supports available to families
  • Discuss current issues in relation to rights, entitlements, services and supports available to families.

Research information relevant to families to include rights entitlements and available supports.
 
Payment 
The cost of this course is €650.00 to be paid in full before the course commences (10% discount for CLM Members).
 
Trainers and Accreditation
This course is run by Community Law & Mediation & Ballymun Community Law Centre. This course is QQI accredited in conjunction with Irish National Organisation of the Unemployment (provider code 380460).
 
Location
This course will take place in in The Horizons Centre, Balcurris Road, Ballymun.


Date & Times
This course will run on a Monday for 12 weeks starting on Monday 6 March 2023 from 10am to 2pm each week.

This course gives a basic understanding of the Irish legal system and family law in relation to advocacy in Ireland. Learners will develop an awareness of the main features of family law and understand how legislation impacts on relationship while becoming familiar with the legal language, procedures, and court documents relevant to the family law area. Learners will develop their advocacy skills and the ability to apply what they have learned to the workplace.  This course will cover any new legislation regarding family law in Ireland.


Participants who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Outline definitions of family to include those in Irish Legislation
  • Identify the functions of the Irish Courts in relation to families
  • Outline the rights, entitlements, services and supports available to families
  • Discuss current issues in relation to rights, entitlements, services and supports available to families.

Research information relevant to families to include rights entitlements and available supports.
 
Payment 
The cost of this course is €650.00 to be paid in full before the course commences (10% discount for CLM Members).
 
Trainers and Accreditation
This course is run by Community Law & Mediation & Ballymun Community Law Centre. This course is QQI accredited in conjunction with Irish National Organisation of the Unemployment (provider code 380460).
 
Location
This course will take place in The Horizons Centre, Balcurris Road, Ballymun.


Date & Times
This course will run on a Monday for 12 weeks starting on Monday 6 March 2023 from 10am to 2pm each week.

Your Details

* Mandatory fields

Advocating for Change: CLM makes Review of Civil Legal Aid Scheme submission today

*Signatories of CLM’s review of the Civil Legal Aid Scheme submission

Today, Community Law & Mediation and 18 social justice and advocacy organisations submitted their recommendations for reform of the outdated Civil Legal Aid Scheme.  

We are calling for substantial reforms ensure the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society can vindicate their rights and challenge discrimination in areas that are critical to social inclusion but currently excluded from the Scheme, such as employment, equality, housing and social welfare. 

What is Civil Legal Aid? 

Civil legal aid means representation by a barrister or solicitor in civil proceedings in court or before the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, in addition to the preparatory work this entails. 

Why have we made a submission on the review of the civil legal aid scheme? 

CLM’s history is closely interlinked with the movement for civil legal aid in Ireland. Previously Coolock Community Law Centre, CLM was established in Coolock in 1975 as the first independent, community-based law centre in Ireland. It was modelled on the American neighbourhood law centre (now known in Ireland as the community law centre model) and its purpose initially was to serve as a prototype law centre and campaign tool in the movement for civil legal aid.  

This model has a number of important characteristics. Services are free of charge, making them as accessible as possible; community education – creating an awareness of rights and the law – is a critical part of the work; and a focus on law reform ensures that the issues being raised in our services inform and influence change in policy and legislation.  

The Pringle Report to Government in 1977 recommended a similarly expanded system of civil legal aid, including public information and education services on legal rights as well as representation for all types of civil proceedings.  

Despite the fact that the Civil Legal Aid Scheme (“the Scheme”), introduced in 1979, saw the establishment of a different and more limited model under the Legal Aid Board, CLM has continued to grow and expand its services, working to remove barriers to the law on the basis that all people should be able to access basic legal information and advice regardless of their income and background. It continues to work to identify and unlock the legalities, regulations, policies, and procedures that manifest as barriers and obstacles to a fair and better life for all individuals in the community. 

What are our key recommendations for the review of the Civil Legal Aid Scheme? 

CLM are calling for reforms to ensure the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society can vindicate their rights and challenge discrimination in areas that are critical to social inclusion but currently excluded from the Scheme, such as employment, equality, housing and social welfare. 

Our key recommendations include:  

  • Changes to the eligibility thresholds to qualify for legal aid and advice, and changes to the allowances against income to reflect the reality of the cost of living. 
  • Expansion of the Civil Legal Aid Scheme to areas of law which are currently excluded such as: employment and equality matters, housing-related matters, environmental matters, social welfare appeals and children’s rights. 
  • Restructuring of the Scheme in line with the community law centre model to include public information and education services – creating an awareness of rights and the law – and a policy and law reform function. 

Read our review of the Civil Legal Aid Scheme submission: