Fellow: Lynsey Dalton

Child Poverty Action Group

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is a national charity working to end poverty among children, young people and families in the UK. We undertake policy, campaigning, lobbying and media work to raise awareness of the causes, extent and impact of child poverty and advocate strategies for its prevention and eradication. We are a leading provider of specialist advice and information about the social security system through our highly renowned publications, our telephone advice service for advisers, and our national training programme. We also engage in strategic litigation, pursuing test cases to protect or secure the rights families with children in poverty and to ensure that benefits are administered lawfully.

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CPAG currently employs one solicitor based in our offices in London who uses litigation to challenge central government and other public bodies on social security and related income maintenance issues, by bringing test cases through the relevant tribunals and courts. Current challenges include judicial review cases against key planks of the Government’s welfare reform agenda, namely the lowered benefit cap and the 2 child limit, as well as particular aspects of universal credit; statutory appeals concerning the qualifying criteria for disability living allowance and Sure Start maternity grants; interventions in cases concerning widowed parents allowance and to what extent non-housing benefits can be used to meet housing costs. Our cases deploy a range of public law arguments and human rights arguments, including drawing on international human rights law beyond the ECHR.

CPAG has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency to provide publically funded work in the ‘public law’ category of work (i.e. judicial review). We also have an Upper Tribunal project, managed by an experienced welfare rights adviser, providing advice/assistance and potentially representation on social security cases in the Upper Tribunal under legal aid or pro-bono. The case load, in terms of number of cases and the complexity of the issues they raise, is a heavy one given the small size of the legal team.

In addition, we provide training, respond to one-off requests for legal advice from our advice line, contribute to CPAG and other publications, liaise with policy colleagues, engage in fundraising work and are regularly invited to speak at a range of workshops and conferences.

In addition to its legal team, CPAG has a dedicated welfare rights team who provide second-tier advice on welfare benefits; produce publications on social security issues, including the Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook and the Welfare Rights Bulletin; and carry out training.

The trainee will be supervised by CPAG’s solicitor and can expect to undertake a broad range of contentious and non-contentious work covering public law, social security, human rights and discrimination law, part of which will involve legal aid work. This is an opportunity to qualify as a specialist in the field of public and social security law, while working on complex and high profile cases and developing skills in tribunal advocacy, training, direct and second-tier advice and writing for publication.

For further information, visit our website.

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