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Developing transformative models for delivery of legal aid through health justice partnerships

Pioneering delivery of legal services

Two people in conversation

The UCL Centre for Access to Justice (CAJ), based within UCL Faculty of Laws, operates an Integrated Legal Advice Clinic (ILAC) offering pro bono and civil legal aid services in Newham, the third most deprived local authority in England. ILAC has pioneered delivery of welfare advice through healthcare settings.

Its ‘health justice partnership’ with a GP practice in East London, to provide free legal services to patients, has enabled further research (funded by the Legal Education Foundation) on prospects for delivering welfare advice through healthcare settings. ILAC’s Professor Dame Hazel Genn, as Director of the National Strategy for Health Justice Partnerships (funded by the Legal Education Foundation), hosted major workshops on health justice in 2020.

The work has also led to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) commitment to piloting co-location of social welfare legal services within GP surgeries, and secondment of the CAJ Head of Projects to MoJ to develop this policy. Professor Genn is working with NHS England on embedding free community social welfare legal services within the social prescribing framework and has developed and is delivering a compulsory innovative module on Health Justice Partnership for UCL medical students.