Independent Law Centre
Access to justice is the cornerstone of all of the Immigrant Council of Ireland’s work. It is committed to supporting individuals and families often at a vulnerable stage in their lives, including victims of human trafficking and stateless or undocumented persons.
In 2006, the Immigrant Council was recognised as an Independent Law Centre, which operates on a strictly not-for-profit basis. This means we can, through our legal team, represent clients directly at an administrative level and in court, both nationally and to a European level as is needed.
In addition to providing direct legal services, the legal team documents issues which arise for our clients in the immigration system and actively seeks to achieve positive law reform, working at domestic, regional and international levels.
The Independent Law Centre is managed by our managing solicitor and is staffed by a further solicitor and legal assistants. Their work has been supported by a broader team of staff and volunteers.
Funding constraints mean our legal service is, unfortunately, limited. The Independent Law Centre cannot be engaged commercially and has absolute discretion over the cases it takes. Cases are taken on when they are of strategic importance and may result in legislative or procedural change, or when the client is particularly vulnerable, for example, a victim of human rights abuses in Ireland, such as a victim of trafficking, someone who has experienced domestic violence, or someone who has particular health needs.
In supporting migrants to access justice, we not only take on individual legal cases; we also highlight solutions that have been reached on relevant issues in other jurisdictions, develop policy papers, commission research, highlight issues in the media, and keep politicians and policymakers well informed.
Meijiao Yu Story
"I first arrived in Ireland in 2003 to study and my husband came in 2004. In 2009 our daughter was born here. I suffered a bit from post-natal depression after the birth and we had no family here. My husband and I were still studying and we were working too, which had put a bit of a strain on our relationship as we were only young.
So we made the difficult decision to send her home to my husband’s family in China for a little while, until we were more settled. But it turned out to be the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life...."
Non-discrimination / Conflict of interest
The Immigrant Council, in deciding whether to accept a case, will act in line with its core values – integrity, social justice, equality, solidarity, dignity, human rights and respect for diversity – and will not unlawfully discriminate on the grounds of race, disability, religious belief, political opinion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age or family relationship.
The Immigrant Council is unable to act in any case which would involve a conflict of interest between one of our legal advisors and any client or between individual clients.
Commitment to Gender Equality, Diversion and Inclusion
The Immigrant Council of Ireland's Independent Law Centre is committed to gender equality, diversity and inclusion in all of its activities and this inclusion is at the core of everything we do.
We are proud to be certified by the Law Society of Ireland for our commitment to inclusion as signatories of the Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Charter.
Immigration training for judicial bodies
The Immigrant Council legal team is proud to share its knowledge and expertise on immigration law and policy with other legal groups both in Ireland and abroad. We regularly participate in educational and collaborative exercises to increase awareness and knowledge around migrant rights with judicial officials and bodies.
For more information, read about our Fair Plus Project.