The Freedom Law Clinic is a pro bono project which reviews cases where there has possibly been a miscarriage of justice. The clinic pairs practicing criminal lawyers with students and volunteers to investigate cases of alleged wrongful conviction, and to provide pro-bono advice on potentially having the conviction overturned.
We collaborate with the The Freedom Law Clinic on two projects: criminal appeals work; and the Civil Liberties Project.
Through six evening lectures, students are introduced to the work of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division and the Criminal Cases Review Commission, while simultaneously undertaking client casework for The Clinic. Students learn what to look for when seeking to overturn a conviction and what evidence might be useful in doing so, and work on real cases in order to develop practical experience in case analysis. Students practice drafting grounds of appeal for review by professional lawyers. The evening lectures aim to provide students with practical and theoretical knowledge of post-conviction criminal litigation.
The Civil Liberties project looks at Community Protection Notices and Public Space Protection Orders to monitor local authorities' restriction of people’s movement. Students investigate whether there are any grounds to challenge these orders, and the practical steps of taking a case forward, learning about judicial review in practice. Students also have the opportunity to work a live case, gaining invaluable practical experience in establishing whether grounds for appeal exist, and preparing for a legal challenge.
My experience at the Freedom Law Clinic was a very enriching one as it not only provided me with an insightful access into the criminal justice system, but also allowed me to give back to the community in the form of providing legal aid to those who may not be able to afford it. Working with a practicing solicitor as well as a team of talented law students within a professional environment has equipped me with skills, such as legal drafting and case analysis, that I believe will considerably aid me in my journey to becoming a lawyer.
James Lowe (Freedom Law Clinic)