Research into whether legal aid enables people who raise a discrimination complaint in Scotland to get justice has been launched by the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
Anyone who has experienced discrimination in Scotland since 1 January 2016 is invited to share their experience with EHRC. The equality body also wants to hear from solicitors, and organisations and groups who support people who experience discrimination.
The project will look at whether legal aid for discrimination cases provides effective access to justice for people who have suffered discrimination in Scotland, including:
- how discrimination cases are funded by legal aid;
- how many people receive legal aid funding for discrimination claims, including representation or assistance with bringing a case in a court or tribunal, and how this compares with the number of individuals who seek advice about discrimination;
- whether there are barriers to effective access to legal aid;
- whether some individuals experience specific difficulties in accessing legal aid, for example language or literacy difficulties, or because of a disability;
- whether improvements could be made to reduce barriers and improve access to justice.
EHRC Scotland staff will also be conducting interviews with solicitors. Any solicitors interested in taking part should contact the Scotland Research team at Scotland@equalityhumanrights.com or 0141 228 5910.
The survey for individuals who have experienced discrimination can be found here.
The survey for advisers, organisations and other groups who assist people who experience discrimination can be found here.
All responses are due by 14 April 2019 at 2359.