scales of justice Organisations Which Can Help

Government bodies, charities, community groups.

See also Firms of solicitors willing to give free initial legal information.

First, three adverts from leading firms...

for UK immigration, tier 2 - sponsorship by UK companies, extradition law, nationality, EU law & human rights law. We assist international business executives, private and public companies, banks, investors and individuals.

  • is the top level site for all government services and official bodies and there is a mass of information available: "The best place to find government services and information". You can search by a general topic, e.g. education and learning, driving and transport, crime, justice and the law, money and tax, benefits, without needing to know what actual departments - national or local - are involved. Detailed and advanced searches are also available.

  • Information on Legal Aid provides free information, help and advice direct to the public on a range of common legal issues. Links are provided to approved information providers, including but not limited to solicitors, under the appropriate topic.

  • adviceUK is the UK's largest support network for free, independent advice centres. It was formed in 1979 as the Federation of Independent Advice Centres (FIAC). They see the provision of free information and advice as a vital contribution to helping individuals and communities in need to enforce their rights and improve their quality of life. adviceUK has a regional structure which mirrors the Government Office regions of the UK. You can search on the site to find organisations by subject, e.g. housing or immigration, or by geographical area. They do not give advice directly to the public but help the viewer find the most appropriate organisation to do so. You can search for your nearest advice centres.

  • Glossary of legal terms from Fylde Law, a firm of solicitors in Blackpool, Lytham St Annes and Thornton Cleveleys. Useful for checking up on a new legal term.

  • The Law Society has launched a series of guides for members of the public to explain how to get help for problems that commonly arise. The guides are written "in plain English" and there are explanatory videos at various points as well. The following topics are covered:
    • Your guide to buying a home
    • Your guide to making a will
    • Your guide to setting up a business
    • Your guide to renting a home
    • Your guide to renting out your property
    • Your guide to getting a divorce
    • Your guide to making a personal injury claim
    • Your guide to probate
    • Your guide to claiming asylum
    • Your guide to problems at work
    • Your guide to financial matters for older people
    • Your guide to setting up home with your partner

  • Advicenow is a project of Advice Services Alliance, the coordinating body for independent advice services in the UK. There is an A to Z of resources and the site provides links to information on over 200 websites, each with a description of what resources are available, categorised by the major topic concerned, e.g. Benefits, Communications and Media, Consumer Affairs, Education and training, and so on. A recent addition is a section called Self Help which includes Guides on handling legal problems, e.g. Dealing with debt, Getting your deposit back, Getting tax credits and so on, and a Tracker Tool which enables someone to store a record of all the calls, meetings, letters, and notes that they have made about their problem.

  • The Advice Guide (previously Citizens Advice Bureau) provides extensive and detailed information on Benefits, Civil Rights, Communications, Consumer Affairs, Education, Employment, Family Matters, Health, Housing, Immigration, Legal System, Tax, and Travel. The viewer can also search the site for particular topics or keywords. You can find a local office by naming the town or area. Citizens Advice Scotland is a separate site.

  • is a dedicated online support and resource for families affected by mesothelioma. The website is impartial and independent with concise information on topics from welfare benefit information to finding the best legal advice. They campaign for asbestos awareness and for support for mesothelioma research to help future generations. The site is dedicated to a relative of the author who sadly died from this disease.

  • Your Europe Advice is an EU advice service for the public providing personalised advice to EU nationals on their rights under EU law. They work closely with SOLVIT, a problem-solving network that deals with problems between individuals or companies and the authorities in another country, in cases where there is a possible misapplication of EU law.

  • Law Centres provide a free and independent professional legal service to people who live or work in their catchment areas. The site lists the addresses of the constituent law centres. There is also a very comprehensive list of links to organisations involved in law rights and citizens' issues, including disability, immigration, benefits, equal opportunities, health and housing.

  • The Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales has formal powers to resolve complaints about lawyers, free to the person with the complaint. The service is open to all members of the public, very small businesses, charities, clubs and trusts. It has been set up by the Office for Legal Complaints under the Legal Services Act 2007. The aim is to simplify the system and make sure consumers have access to an independent expert to resolve complaints.

  • Liberty is a site from Human Rights and civil Liberties organisation Liberty on Human Rights topics. The site used to provide information from Liberty's legal team on these topics but it seems now to be more of a publicity body for the organisation. However, there is a section of the site called Get Advice which you can access by email or by phone (at certain times).

  • Ombudsmen (British and Irish Ombudsmen Organisation) provides information on all the ombudsmen available to the individual who believes that they have received an injustice from a public body. There are a lot of them, including Health Services, Local Government, Legal Services, Parliamentary and Police Services Ombudsmen.

  • UK Law Online, based at Leeds University, provides a general description of how the UK legal system works.

  • Nicholas Nicol, Barrister & Mediator of 1 Pump Court, specialises in housing, property and public law and offers case briefings and articles in those areas, plus an introduction to the English legal system (in both English and Spanish).

  • Legal Services Agency is a Scottish charity offering legal assistance to the disadvantaged. Housing and social welfare law are especially covered and all initial advice is free. The Agency is funded by local authorities and the Scottish Office.

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