Host Organisation: Brighton Housing Trust

Oliver Him

I graduated from the University of Sussex in law and also completed a masters in international law focusing on human rights and international environmental law.

My interest in the law has always been focused on helping provide access to justice for the more disadvantaged and vulnerable in society, and I have long been committed to a career in this area.

I previously worked as a Paralegal for Hansen Palomares in a busy legal aid firm in South London focusing on housing and community care law and providing legal advice and representation in Spanish and English. I also have an interest in mental health and have worked for Mind as an Independent Mental Health Advocate in a psychiatric hospital, representing clients detained under the Mental Health Act. I also worked as a support worker for adults with autism for a number of years and have undertaken numerous volunteer roles with organisations such as Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Environmental Law Foundation and Shelter.

Outside of work my main interest is writing and playing music, and I also enjoy travelling and seeing different countries by bike.

Project – Using technology to reduce barriers to access to justice

The overarching aim of the project is to look at innovative ways of using technology to provide assistance to clients in relation to housing and immigration.

In terms of legal aid it will explore ways of using technology to simplify the process of submitting means evidence and using skype where attending appointments in person is an issue.

For areas in housing out of scope for legal aid such as tenancy deposit recovery and general disrepair the project will explore how technology can be used to help assist clients either by setting up an online assistance programme or a forum where people can discuss their issues and an adviser can provide guidance.

In relation to immigration the project will look at the barriers barriers to obtaining Exceptional Case Funding in Legal Aid matters. By setting up a digital platform for practitioners to share experiences of positive/negative applications this will help inform as to when there are merits to apply for ECC.

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