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Legal aid is being cut. Courts meet in secret. The UK government is working to abolish the Human Rights Act. Our justice system is in crisis. 

Justice matters to every one of us. It defines our relationship with the state, rebalances discrepancies in power and protects our rights and civil liberties.

But successive governments have compromised and undermined the UK justice system. Key constitutional principles are being eroded.

Many people aren’t paying attention.

Welcome to openJustice where we inspire debate and mobilise support for positive changes in our justice system. We are supported by the human rights lawyers at Leigh Day.

The UK just sent three men to prison for peaceful civil opposition

A closer look at the case that gave fracking protesters an excessive jail sentence.

Fairness, respect and community should be the driving forces behind immigration policy

Leading immigration campaigners call on UK government to take values-based approach to immigration post-Brexit

The BBC and Cliff Richard: in terms of press freedom, this is a sideshow

The BBC has dropped the idea of appealing against the award of damages to Cliff Richard for invasion of privacy, but continues to muddy the waters with fake legal arguments.

We should bridge the earnings gulf between legal aid and commercial lawyers

Much of the income of City law firms comes directly from the public purse at many times legal aid rates. How can this be justified?

The BBC and Cliff Richard: what threat to press liberty?

Asking the Court of Appeal directly for leave to appeal could result in another opportunity to expose the dubious behaviour of the BBC news division, and at a higher judicial level.

Windrush and Legal Aid: how free legal representation could have avoided a national scandal

Many migration decisions are wrong - but since legal aid for such cases was scrapped by the LASPO Act 2012, few migrants have the money to challenge them. Meanwhile, an ongoing review drags on.

Consumer is King? Of class actions and who matters in EU law

The European Commission proposes that consumers should be able to take class actions in future, in the wake of the VW Dieselgate scandal. But it has forgotten other victims of corporate harm.

Why you've never heard of a Charter that's as important as the Magna Carta

The Charter of the Forest was sealed 800 years ago today. Its defence of the property-less and of ‘the commons’, means the Right would prefer to ignore it - and progressives need to celebrate and renew it.

Upholding the Rule of Law in the European Union

An open letter concerning the upholding of the Rule of Law in the European Union, co-signed by 188 scholars, politicians, public intellectuals and members of the European Parliament and sent on November 3, 2017. Español. Catalan

Do we have a right to justice?

As new research reveals the devastating impact of legal aid cuts, Labour is considering not only reversing some of those cuts but enshirining in law our right to justice.

Nowhere to call home: England's 'hidden homeless'

Work as a legal aid housing lawyer throws up all kinds of scenarios. Many of our clients have already been evicted and are homeless. The image of homelessness that most commonly springs to mind is ...

Normalising torture

On impunity, and the erosion of ethics in International Human Rights Law - from Guantanamo to Yemen.

Prosecutors: human rights defenders or violators?

A call for the International Association of Prosecutors Annual Conference in Beijing to make explicit efforts to promote adherence to their own standards.

“Blood on our hands” - the sorry state of UK mental health services

Nobody doubts there is a problem – so why isn’t more being done to protect survivors of abuse?

The rule of law fights back

The recent Supreme Court decision on employment tribunal fees is a victory for our constitution. This is the rule of law, in action.

London is cloaking environmental racism in respectability – but Zambian villagers are fighting back

Zambian villagers await a landmark judgement that could help hold British companies to account for their actions abroad.

Shocking new evidence could overturn Northern Ireland ruling that became an international blueprint for torture

I “felt like I was drowning or suffocating until I fell on the floor unconscious” - new testimony from survivors of torture in Nothern Ireland goes to the heart of British colonial myth-making.

Why the ICC examination into torture and other abuses by UK soldiers in Iraq must continue

The Office of the Prosecutor is under pressure to conclude the examination. It must remain open. The Prosecutor should be taking it to the next logical step – a full-blown investigation. 

Human rights protection at home and abroad: lessons to be learned from the Colombian peace process

Human rights abuses in Colombia can serve as a stark reminder of what the UK has to lose. 

Acid attacks are on the rise – the government must act now

Perpetrators of hate crime and gang violence are turning to easily available weapons. Muslim communities are frightened.

The terrible consequences of deregulation and cutting corners

After Grenfell, it’s time for the government to urgently rethink its attitude to regulation.

UK charity seeks funds to challenge use of painful restraints on children

How can it be wrong to hurt vulnerable children inside a secure children’s home, but all right to inflict pain in transit?

The fight against torture should preoccupy us all

Torture is a calculated act of cruelty and brutality that degrades us all and weakens the rule of law. On International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, let's eradicate complicity with torture.

One law for the poor at Grenfell Tower

In austerity Britain, can justice and accountability be served for the victims of the Grenfell fire? Or are our laws already too much shaped to the needs of the business class?

A poor track record and a worrying manifesto on civil rights

After the surpising 2017 general election, opposition parties have a golden opportunity to stand up for the rights of UK citizens.

Do more police mean less crime?

Labour and the Liberal Democrats are both pledging an increase in police officer numbers. Are these plans a welcome investment or a symbolic bit of electioneering?

The fate of the 'jungle' children

A study of the experiences of children from the Calais 'jungle', now claiming asylum in the North West of England, shows why we must speak up for the rights of refugees.

Civil liberties and human rights – what’s at stake in the UK's 2017 General Election?

Human rights are important for everyone, because without the right to protest against particular policies it is much more difficult to influence and hold to account whichever government is elected on 8 June.

The quiet revolution that could transform lives

Most people can't afford a transcript from their own trial even when it's the only thing that could prove their innocence. We need to move beyond the status quo.

 

What would true court modernisation look like?

Plans to modernise the courts in England and Wales may change how the justice system looks and feels, but it may not provide the forward thinking justice really needs.

We don't need more police, we need a shift of responsibilities

As services were withdrawn from vulnerable people, the police occupied the gap. Election campaigns should concentrate not on the police budget, but on rebalancing responsibilities.

How to make the roads safer

As the number of UK cyclists soar, so do death and injury on the roads. These are two simple rules that would reduce accidents and simplify a victim's claim.

It's about time our judiciary started to reflect the people it serves

A senior judiciary that so clearly fails to reflect the ethnic, gender and social composition of the nation seriously undermines justice in England and Wales.

Draconian cuts to legal aid for prisoners found to be unlawful by Court of Appeal

A rare thing: some good news for prisoners and legal aid. 

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