The Irish Traveller Movement Independent Law Centre opened in 2009, replacing the ITM's Legal Unit.
The Law Centre is the only one of its kind in the country providing specialist legal advice and representation to 40,000 Travellers across Ireland. The Law Centre is uniquely placed in that it is attached to the Irish Traveller Movement, a membership organisation with 40 Traveller groups around Ireland, this position ensures that the Law Centre is always fully briefed on the position of Travellers across the country and that the resources are used in a targeted, effective, fashion with member groups assisting in identifying the relevant up-to-the minute issues affecting Travellers at the grass roots. The Law Centre is fully accountable to and managed by the community it represents ensuring that Travellers needs are best served at all times.
Travellers are one of the most marginalised groups in Irish Society and experience discrimination on a daily basis in accessing the most basic and necessary services. Travellers fare poorly on all social indicators, eg. Travellers experience shorter life expectancies, higher suicide rates and higher unemployment rates than the general population. The Law Centre is established to address access to justice for Travellers, empowering Travellers to assert their legal rights and to analyse and challenge the law and policy as it impacts on Travellers.
The Law Centre’s primary areas of work can be broken into four elements;
The Law Centre's aims are to advance the ability of members of the Travelling Community to access expert legal advice and representation, to proactively advance Traveller human rights under the various legislative frameworks, to advance recognition of Travellers as an ethnic minority, to develop the capacity of Traveller organisations to respond to legal issues facing Travellers and to take a series of test cases to challenge laws that impede the ability of Travellers to play their rightful role in Irish society.
Organisations and individuals can contact the Law Centre's Managing Solicitor, Susan Fay, on 01 6796577 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.