Annamaria de Felice, JRS Communications Officer
The Scottish Just Law Centre is officially launching a new free, confidential second-tier discrimination advice line on 13 January 2022. It will be open every Thursday, between 2 and 4pm. The advice line number is 0141 406 5353.
The Scottish legal system is complex and constantly changing.
Advisers and frontline workers who are supporting vulnerable people every day may need help too.
For them, the Scottish Just Law Centre is launching a new free, confidential, second-tier advice line.
By calling us, they will be able to ask our legal team for second-tier input to enable them to support clients and service users who have one or more “protected characteristic”, and who have experienced discrimination as the result of a practice or policy of a public body or public service provider.
You will be able to discuss your client’s case with one of our solicitors, free of charge and with full confidentiality, so that they can advise you on how to best help your client.
How the helpline works?
The helpline is a national service, and it is open to non-profit organisations based in Scotland who are dealing with vulnerable people suffering discrimination because of their protected characteristics such as age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation. If you’re not sure how to advise or assist your client, you can call the helpline, and we will advise you about possible next steps to take to help your client.
For example, we can explain how to submit an internal complaint, or complain to an ombudsman, including regarding which parts of the Equality Act are relevant.
We can provide you with further support as your client’s case progresses. If it reaches a point where legal action is the only remaining option, we can take a referral from you.
We aim to support advisers/frontline workers by establishing a collaborative approach.
If you are not an adviser
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer advice directly to members of the public. However, if you access help from an advice agency such as a Citizens Advice Bureau, they can call us about your case.
Why are we launching our helpline for advisers?
Research across Scotland has shown that people with protected characteristics, particularly disability, suffering from discrimination can struggle to get the advice and assistance they need.
This helpline, and the legal services provided by the Scottish Just Law Centre, have been set up to respond to these needs.
Through this helpline, we will reach advisers across Scotland and provide them with the right support and legal input.
They will then be able to fully help the vulnerable people they assist.
Everyone will get the help they need.
About the Scottish Just Law Centre
The Scottish Just Law Centre (SJLC) aims to reduce discrimination and disadvantage in Scotland by helping people use equalities and human rights law as an effective tool for social change.
The Scottish Just Law Centre (SJLC) is an innovative collaborative project which brings together the legal expertise of JustRight Scotland with civil society partners, including Inclusion Scotland and Scottish Trans.
We focus our work on racial discrimination, disability discrimination and trans discrimination – but also challenge discriminatory policies and practices of public bodies and service providers towards people with other protected characteristics – with the aim of improving their access to justice. The SJLC is funded by The Baring Foundation and the Equality and Human Rights Fund.