Queen’s University Belfast (pictured) and the University of Oxford have been awarded a £1 million research grant by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council to carry out a four-year oral history project on the Law Centres movement.
Law Centres have been working in disadvantaged communities in the UK for the past 50 years, but there is a lack of in-depth accounts of the movement’s work.
The new project will consider how 65 in-depth interviews recorded with participants across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be archived at the British Library through a partnership with the oral history charity National Life Stories.
Four key areas
The project will be led by Professor Linda Mulcahy, Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, in collaboration with Professor Kieran McEvoy and Dr Anna Bryson from the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast.
The research will focus on four key areas:
- Innovative ways of lawyering pioneered by Law Centres,
- New types of legal specialism developed in Law Centres that focused on the needs of the poor,
- Law Centres’ roles in campaigns for legal reform,
- Law Centres’ contribution to strategic litigation.
The project team will produce images, statistics and stories about how Law Centres have helped to re-conceptualise the legal needs of those who cannot afford to pay for legal support.