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Joanne Wedderspoon

Funder Relations Manager

Charities Aid Foundation

CASE STUDY: COMMONS LAW CIC

31 July 2018

CAF Venturesome has provided Commons Law CIC a £25,000 standby facility to provide cashflow support in the event of delays in legal aid or grant income.

Commons Law CIC was set up in late 2016, as a not-for profit criminal law firm, in order to tackle the problems vulnerable people face when navigating the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Commons is unique, and potentially the first, not-for-profit criminal law firm in the country, the organisation aims to set a new standard of criminal legal representation for vulnerable groups.

In recent years the Legal Aid system has faced cuts to Legal Aid contracts, mostly affecting small criminal defence law firms. With this decline in the budget for criminal legal aid, Commons intend to create a training and resources programme designed to develop the capacity of criminal defence solicitors (in England and Wales) to ensure vulnerable defendants have the best possible representation.

The organisation aims to use its position as a criminal defence firm to expand their work outside of legal aid parameters, trying to improve how the CJS responds to individuals with complex needs.

The success of their work will be measured in take up, and ultimately improved working relationships between agencies and with individuals in the CJS with life experiences such as being in care, as migrants, asylum seekers or refugees or the survivors of domestic violence.

 

Want to know more? Talk to our team on 03000 123 300 or email us at venturesome@cafonline.org and we’ll be happy to help.

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