This page explains the ideas behind it. You can click here and find out for yourself.
What we are: www.justicegap.com is an online magazine about the law aimed at ordinary people (as opposed to lawyers, businesses etc).
- We are about the law as it relates to you.
- We are about journalism and, in particular, shining a light on those parts of the justice system that don’t often see the light of day in the mainstream media.
- We are interested in the broad sweep of the law: human rights, the criminal justice system, family, employment through to consumer issues. In other words, all aspects of the law that relate to you in your day-to-day life.
- We are editorially independent.
- We aim to promote ‘access to justice’ – in other words, we want to improve the ability of people to enforce legitimately held rights. To that end, we want to develop the site as a resource of useful and interesting information about legal rights under the Advice Guide. It’s a long-term project. We launched on October 6th 2011.
Why ‘the Justice Gap’: We explain what the Justice Gap means at the end of this page.
- It is a recognition that the system isn’t working. That many people struggle to secure ‘access to justice’ – not just vulnerable parts of the community and those without money but an increasingly large section of the community. That’s where we are coming from.
What we are not: For a start, we are not lawyers.
- We are not here to promote the interests of lawyers. We hope this site represents a positive contribution to promoting ‘access to justice’. These are two different things.
- This is not a lawyers’ discussion group. We will run articles and blogs by lawyers and professionals involved with the law; and we will run articles and blogs by people who are neither but who have views on the effectiveness or otherwise of our legal system. Any contributions will be run at the editor’s discretion. They must be broadly in sympathy with what we are about, factually accurate (obviously…) and they must not land the editor in libel courts (please…).
- We do not provide legal advice. Sorry. We don’t claim to have either the right skills or resources to assist people with their individual legal actions. We don’t engage in correspondence about individual cases.
- Our advice guide is not a substitute for legal advice (as is explained in our terms and conditions) but it is to illuminate legal issues.
Who is behind the Justice Gap: The site is run by Jon Robins who is a journalist. Jon has written about the law, justice and related issues for the national papers and for the specialist press for 15 years. He is not a lawyer. Jon did once train to be a lawyer (it didn’t work out). Jon is very grateful for the support of a team of regular bloggers; the experts who have very generously written and researched sections of the advice guide; and the many people who have supported the Justice Gap series. They are listed here.
Michael Mansfield QC explains the Justice Gap:
‘The ‘Justice Gap’ refers to the increasing section of the public too poor to afford a lawyer and not poor enough to qualify for legal aid. At the heart of any notion of a decent society is not only that we have rights and protections under the law but that we can enforce those rights and rely upon those protections if needed.’