University of Westminster launches free legal advice service to support Black women facing issues with the criminal justice process
The University of Westminster Legal Advice Clinic has partnered with the London Black Women’s Project (LBWP) to launch their new service entitled the ‘Criminal Justice Support Clinic’ to help Black women with issues they are experiencing with the criminal justice process.
The Criminal Justice Support Clinic is a legal advice and assistance project run between the University of Westminster Legal Advice Clinic and the London Black Women’s Project. Under the supervision of Clinic staff, students from Westminster’s Law School are supporting women accessing London Black Women’s Project services to help them with issues they are experiencing with the criminal justice programme.
The project team are able to assist with a variety of matters free of charge, including drafting Victim’s Rights of Reviews requests, assisting with claiming criminal injuries compensation or offering help in situations where a woman is dissatisfied with the police response to her reported sexual or domestic violence case. These are common issues, however the women the Clinic is supporting do not have the financial capabilities to involve a solicitor.
Westminster Law students involved in the project have received specialist training and are given the opportunity to advise women under supervision and conduct agreed follow-up research and case work. The professional skills learned, and knowledge gained during this work will help these students progress in their studies and careers.
The first clinic session occurred on 29 July, where the Clinic team spoke with four women and have undertaken some follow-up work as a result of the session. The team aim to hold sessions every four to six weeks, depending on demand.
Talking about the Criminal Justice Support Clinic, Hannah Camplin, Director of Westminster’s Legal Advice Clinic said: “I am delighted that the Criminal Justice Support Clinic has now launched and the students involved have the opportunity to assist women in this important area of law where our time and effort can make a real difference to case outcomes.”
Camille, a student at the University of Westminster and Legal Advice Service Manager at LBWP, said: “This clinic is the first of its kind in the women’s sector and provides support for women navigating the criminal justice system. It also gives students an opportunity to gain experience supporting vulnerable clients.”
To find out more about the Criminal Justice Support Clinic, please email H.Camplin@westminster.ac.uk.