Refurbish Don’t Demolish
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
1M ago
Saskia O’Hara shares legal routes available to housing campaigners in South Thamesmead. PILC’s Saskia O’Hara joined residents, tenants and campaigners at the Lesnes estate in South Thamesmead to host a workshop about how to use the law as a tool in their campaign.  PILC is representing a resident on the estate as part of our gentrification project. Saskia was invited down to speak to residents about the process of planning and the law, explain the legal challenges that are available, and share lessons learned from other estates and campaigns.  Campaigners known as ‘LesRes’ (Lesnes ..read more
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Litigation as a catalyst: PILC’s approach to movement lawyering in the fight against gentrification injustice.
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
2M ago
Legal caseworker and community legal organiser, Saskia O’Hara (right), shares how litigation has created space for Aylesbury Estate residents to grow their campaign Campaigning can take an incredible amount of hard work, time and resilience. Deciding whether or not you should take a developer to court, and facing a legal landscape that has proven to be hostile to housing campaigners can be intimidating. At PILC, we use the law as a tool to assist, support, and empower the residents who are on the frontline of gentrification. At the Aylesbury Estate, we worked with Aysen Dennis to challenge ..read more
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Criminalised for Seeking Asylum: the conviction of Ibrahima Bah
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
2M ago
Last week, Ibrahima Bah, a teenager from Senegal, was convicted of illegal entry into the UK and manslaughter by gross negligence. We are deeply concerned and saddened at this result, both in the impact on Ibrahima and the perpetuation of the criminalisation of seeking asylum that this case demonstrates. Details of the Case Ibrahima Bah was arrested in December 2022 after the dinghy he was driving across the Channel broke apart next to the fishing vessel Arcturus. Four men are known to have drowned, and up to five are still missing. One of those who drowned was Allaji Ibrahima Ba, 18 years ol ..read more
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Elephant Park H1 Planning Inquiry: Case Update
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
3M ago
Elephant Park H1 Planning Inquiry: Planning Inspector allows Office Block to proceed.  What did participation achieve, and are there any lessons to be learned? On  30 November 2023, the Planning Inspector allowed Lendlease to proceed with plans to build an office block on the final site of the former Heygate Estate in Southwark, London. PILC, along with Southwark Planning Voice and Charles Bishop of Landmark Chambers, represented a group of residents and campaigners called the Community Objectors of H1 (‘COH1’).  They won the right to be a Rule 6 Party to this Planning Inquiry ..read more
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Actions against war crimes in Gaza
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
7M ago
Legal Action Check out information about the legal action launched today by Global Legal Action Network and Al-Haq seeking to halt UK arms sales to Israel over illegal attacks on civilians, forced displacement, and policies in Palestine here.   We encourage all those who can to donate to their CrowdJustice fundraiser here.  Banner making session on Fri 20 October 2023 We are opening our office on Friday 20 October 2023 from 3pm-6pm for a banner-making workshop.  Please bring cardboard if possible. Our full office address is: The Green House (Ethical Property), 244-254 Cambr ..read more
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Elephant Park Planning Inquiry: recap
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
8M ago
As the Planning Inquiry related to the final plot of land of the former Heygate estate wraps up, we summarise the legal arguments, the notable moments and what’s next. On 22nd September 2023, closing submissions by parties were heard at the Elephant Park ‘Plot H1’ planning inquiry.  This brought to a close a 2-week process in which global property developer Lendlease were appealing Southwark Council’s decision to reject their planning application to build an 18 storey office block  (with no housing) on the final plot of the Heygate estate. Public Interest Law Centre, in a legal team ..read more
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The anti-boycott bill: what is it?
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
9M ago
Paul Heron is a lawyer, socialist and activist. He is the Legal Director and Senior Solicitor at the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC). Here Paul looks into the Government’s ‘Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) bill, which is of major concern not only to groups such as the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, but to wider democracy as a whole. The Government’s ‘Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) bill,‘ commonly referred to as the anti-boycott bill has just gone through its second reading in Parliament. The anti-boycott bill: w ..read more
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PILC statement on the ‘Professional Enablers Taskforce’
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
9M ago
On 8 August 2023, the Home Office revealed plans for the ‘Professional Enablers Taskforce’ which intends to “clampdown on crooked lawyers who coach illegal migrants to lie”. Speaking about the task force, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “Crooked immigration lawyers must be rooted out and brought to justice”. The task force – which was established a few months ago, but officially launched on 8 August – aims to bring regulatory bodies like the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) together with “law enforcement and government departments to increase enforcement action against lawyers who ..read more
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Public consultation on ticket office closure extended
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
10M ago
Photography: Elliott Brown/Flickr On 5 July the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train companies, announced proposals for the closure of almost all 1,007 ticket offices – excluding some of those at the busiest stations – within three years. The move to shut ticket offices – and potentially cut hundreds of jobs in the process – comes after months of tension between striking rail workers, stubborn network bosses and the Department of Transport, in bitter disputes over pay, pensions and job cuts. Closing vast numbers of ticket offices seems illogical, though the RDG claims that ticket ..read more
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Southwark community ask Michael Gove to stand by housing ambitions
Public Interest Law Centre Blog
by PILU
10M ago
Southwark community ask Michael Gove to stand by his housing ambitions and intervene on Lendlease’s battle to build a giant office block instead of housing. ‘Community Objectors of H1’ (‘COH1’) are intervening in a Planning Inquiry in which Lendlease are appealing the decision of Southwark council not to grant them planning permission on ‘Plot H1’ – the final plot of Elephant Park, a controversial redevelopment which stands on the former site of the Heygate estate. Although this site was originally identified for housing (as per the Outline Planning Permission), Lendlease are now battling to ..read more
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