We collaborate with the The Freedom Law Clinic on two projects - criminal appeal work and civil liberties work.
The Freedom Law Clinic is a pro bono project looking at apparent cases of miscarriage of justice. The clinic combines the skills and experience of practicing criminal lawyers with students and volunteers to investigate cases of alleged wrongful conviction and to provide pro-bono advice on having the conviction overturned.
Students will be introduced through six evening lectures to the work of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division and the Criminal Cases Review Commission while simultaneously undertaking live client case work for The Clinic. Students will learn what to look for when seeking to overturn a conviction and what evidence may be useful in doing so. They will work with real casework in order to develop practical experience in case analysis. They will practice drafting grounds of appeal for review by professional lawyers. The evening lectures will look to provide students with practical and theoretical knowledge of post-conviction criminal litigation.
Also in partnership with the Freedom Law Clinic, the Civil Liberties project looks at Community Protection Notices and Public Space Protection Orders to see whether the local authorities have placed too much restriction people’s movements. Students investigate whether there are any grounds to challenge these orders, and if so the practical steps of taking a case forward thereby learning about judicial review in practice. Concurrently to this, students work a live case to establish whether grounds for appeal exist and if so preparing for that 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)