The Public Interest Law Centre is a legal organisation located at the grassroots. It is where we come from and where we believe social change begins. This commitment forms the basis of our distinct identity as a law centre rooted in communities fighting for social justice.
Our community-engaged and strategic approach consists of 6 interconnected parts:
- Building relationships and identifying issues
- Training & Capacity Building
- Legal Advice & Representation
- Strategic Litigation
- Strategic Communications
We work in solidarity with people affected by systemic issues to build their power whilst highlighting their experience. Our priorities and the direction of our strategic litigation are set by these relationships. Strategy is formulated together with the individuals and groups we represent, whom we support through legal education to ensure that the process is transparent and meaningful throughout. Working this way implies a recognition that process and outcomes are not separate; we aim to integrate litigation within a broader movement for social justice.
We work in collaboration with grassroots groups, campaigns and frontline organisations through a legal hub model, building capacity through legal education and advocating through legal action in key priority areas: racial justice and migrants rights; housing/homelessness; violence against women; the impact of austerity; and state surveillance.
We are also conscious that the law is not a favourable terrain for the working class, social justice campaigners or for vulnerable and marginalised individuals/groups. However, we believe it is vital to hold government and public bodies to account and challenge unfair policies and practices wherever possible. We believe that the law can be a tactic to support the work of frontline organisations, grassroots campaigners and working class communities in our areas of expertise.
PILC’s contribution to human rights and social justice campaigning is primarily through its litigation. However, we do not evaluate that work in traditional legal terms. The value of a case is not determined solely by its outcome in the court, however essential that is, but also by the impact it brings to the issues at stake and the rights of the communities we represent.