JFF involved in successful campaign to wipe past convictions for homosexual activity from records
January 13, 2022
At the beginning of January 2022, the government announced that it will extend its pardons policy to cover convictions for same-sex sexual activity that has affected gay and bisexual people for decades.
This campaign formed the basis of the Justice First Fellowship project that Katy Watts (cohort 1) instigated and developed as part of her Fellowship at host organisation Public Law Project. Terry Stewart, Katy’s client, has been at the forefront of the campaign to extend the pardons policy and when Katy later moved jobs from PLP to Liberty, Terry’s case and campaign came with her. Katy and Terry have been pushing for this change in policy since 2017.
Katy takes up the story:
“Terry was convicted for ‘soliciting or importuning’ in 1983. Importuning was an offence of a man chatting up another man for “an immoral purpose”. No sexual activity actually had to take place. The conviction appears on a criminal records check as a sex offence. It has blighted Terry’s life for nearly 40 years, preventing him from pursuing his chosen career as a social worker and causing stress every time he applies for a voluntary position. The offence was repealed in 2001. The Home Office itself admitted at the time that the offence was “a means of regulating behaviour between homosexual men, which, if conducted between men and women would be seen as nor than chatting up.” Even after the offence was repealed, men who had been convicted or cautioned were enable to apply to have their convictions deleted from their records.The change means that, finally, men like Terry who were criminalised for their sexuality will be able to apply to have their convictions deleted by the Home Office.”We have been writing to the Home Office since 2017. For nearly five years, we were told that this was ‘under review’ and ‘being consulted on’. Thanks to Lord Cashman’s campaign, the government has finally agreed to make the change. Sadly it comes too late for thousands of men whose lives have been destroyed by discriminatory convictions.”
The Foundation is delighted at the outcome of the case and many congratulations to Terry and Katy for their successful work on this. The JFF project plays an important part of the overall Fellowship scheme, helping Fellows to develop wider skills and networks for using the law as a tool for social change. This is a powerful example of how JFFs are working with people and communities to achieve change now and as their careers develop.
Applications open to host a Fellow in 2023. Deadline: 30 March 2022
January 10, 2022
We are now looking for 15-20 organisations to host Justice First Fellows from 2023-25. Fellows are hosted by some of the best social welfare legal organisations in the UK. Each year host organisations are awarded grants which support them to employ and train a Fellow over two years. For the first time this cohort, hosts may offer either a training contract or an SQE track to qualification. Alongside the compulsory training, Fellows are supported by their host organisation to devise and run their own project aimed at increasing access to justice.
For this cohort, we are delighted to continue to work with BBC Children in Need so we will be looking for three Fellows to specialise in child law.
Find out more about hosting a Fellow.
We encourage you to contact us before submitting an application.
Deadline for applications: 5pm, 30 March 2022.
We are recruiting a Manager for the Justice First Fellowship
January 6, 2022
The Legal Education Foundation is inviting applications for the newly created post of Justice First Fellowship Manager. The successful candidate will play a central role in the delivery of the Justice First Fellowship (JFF), which is a key element of our vision, mission and strategic objectives.
The Foundation established the JFF in 2013 to support the next generation of social justice lawyers. It has since funded over 120 Fellowships and is achieving excellent outcomes in supporting Fellows into employment in social justice law.
The JFF Manager is a new role, created to lead the consolidation and further development of the scheme. You will bring the core programme, project and relationship management skills that are essential to the role. Your experience could have been gained in a variety of settings. Experience of working or volunteering in the legal advice sector, the wider social justice arena, in delivering education and professional development programmes and grant making could all be helpful but what is essential is a commitment to the vision, mission and values of the Foundation.
People with lived experience of social welfare legal issues are underrepresented in our organisation, so we are actively recruiting and prioritising candidates who bring this understanding alongside other skills and expertise.
How to apply
For an informal and confidential discussion about the role, please contact our recruitment partner:
Simon Lloyd, Director, NFP Consulting T: 07961 988 523 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apply online at www.nfpconsulting.co.uk/justicefirstfellowship
Your application should comprise a CV along with a supporting statement of around two sides of A4 indicating how you meet the person specifications of the role and your motivations for applying.
Closing date for applications: Monday 31st January 2022
[caption id="attachment_5176" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo: Richard Gray[/caption]