UK: IHRC introduces legal defence fund

KARACHI: IHRC has introduced a Legal Defence Fund to support those interested in pursuing their legal rights. The fund is the first of its kind to be set up by a Muslim charity in the UK and will be used to support IHRC Legal clients in paying for some of the costs incurred when pursuing employment and discrimination cases.

Costs covered will include: Professional legal fees; Tribunal fees; and disbursements including barrister fees. The fund has been set up with the aim of supporting clients on low incomes who would otherwise not be able to challenge their employer due to lack of financial resources.

Many other law firms may take cases without upfront payment of legal fees but this would not necessarily extend to tribunal fees and disbursements which must be paid in advance. The availability of any insurance policy or fee waiver/remission system already in place will be considered first.

IHRC aims for the Fund to be consistently replenished and will use means such as the compensation that may be awarded by the Employment Tribunal. In the future, funding will be invited from the community in order to expand the Fund with the potential to accept a greater number of cases. This should also help to litigate strategic cases in the interest of the wider Muslim community.

Previously, IHRC has successfully taken the UK government to court over the introduction of body scanners at airports and has also issued a challenge against the government’s continued support of the Israeli aggression against Lebanon.