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Sir Henry Brooke sees the rise in need for free legal advice services on visit to Toynbee Hall

Published: 26 Apr 2017


Sir Henry Brooke, retired Lord Justice of Appeal and supporter of Toynbee Hall’s Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC), visited the centre on Monday 24th April to cast his expert eye on an immigration law session. Sir Henry met staff and volunteers to share his experience and expertise.

The Immigration Law session on a Monday night began in 2016 and has been full to capacity since. The cuts to legal aid, legal services and subsequently the Brexit decision, have had a devastating impact upon access to justice. This is identifiable when it comes to immigration law advice with more people than ever in need of legal advice in this area, yet there is a scarcity of free services and a struggle for funding.

Through providing one-off legal advice on a range of legal issues, FLAC helps people from Tower Hamlets and across London to navigate the complexities of the legal system and empowers people to understand their rights, ensuring wider access to justice.

Toynbee Hall is working towards creating a Legal Capability Network which will call on the legal fraternity for promotion and guidance. Sir Henry is on the Access to Justice Commission and therefore has a particular interest in this area.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, and I was impressed by the professionalism and the enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers. If only there were more units like the Toynbee Hall Free Legal Advice Centre to meet the enormous need”.
Sir Henry Brooke

Since setting up our immigration law advice service in 2016 we have been full to capacity. In the light of Brexit, LASPO and further closures or cutbacks to many provisions the need for our service is now at record levels. We are very concerned that there are insufficient provisions to meet this growth in demand and that access to justice is being further eroded.”
Emma Pheby, Free Legal Advice Centre Manager, Toynbee Hall