What we are: www.thejusticegap.com is an online magazine about the law aimed at the public. The site is edited and run by Jon Robins.
- 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 sections of the community or those without money. 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 must not land the editor in the 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; @JusticeGap).
Jon is a journalist and has written about the law, justice and related issues for the national papers and specialist press for 15 years. Jon is co-author of The Justice Gap: Whatever happened to legal aid? (Legal Action Group, 2009 – with Steve Hynes) and People Power: how to run a campaign and make a difference in your community (Daily Telegraph and LawPack, 2008). Jon is a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln and a patron of Hackney Community Law Centre. Jon is editor.
More information at www.jonrobins.info.
Mary-Rachel McCabe (email@example.com; @MaryRachel_McC) is a law graduate with an interest in social and criminal justice. She writes, commissions and runs the JusticeGap’s Facebook and Tumblr sites.
Louise Restell (firstname.lastname@example.org; @Louise_Restell) is the Justice Gap’s consumer editor. She commissions and writes. Louise is a campaigner, blogger, consumer champion, communications expert and not a lawyer. Louise claims some responsibility for the Legal Services Act, having run the Which? campaign for legal services reform. She is a trustee of the Public Law Project charity.
Find out more about Louise HERE.
Kim Evans (email@example.com; on Twitter as @LifeInCustody) commissions and writes for the Justice Gap about criminal justice and policing. Kim has spent more than 30 years at the sharp end of the criminal justice system – for the last 10 years in the cells of East Sussex police stations defending people in custody and before that with the Metropolitan Police as a uniformed officer in 1979. You can read about Kim’s work as a police station representative HERE.
We are 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.’
David Jessel on the Justice Gap:
‘For those concerned with the law and justice – as well as the difference between the two – www.thejusticegap.com is increasingly essential.’
You can read about the Justice Gap series here.
Guardian Legal Network: The Justice Gap is part of the Guardian Legal Network which ‘brings together the best blogs and sites that cover legal affairs and developments from around the world. The network connects sites that provide high-quality news, comment, analysis, blogs and multimedia’.
Halsbury legal award: The Justice Gap won the legal journalism category at the inaugural Halsbury Legal Awards – read more HERE. The awards were set up as ‘a celebration of excellence in the law and great contribution to the legal sector’.
Mumsnet: The Justice Gap is part of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network. Mumsnet is the UK’s busiest parenting community of 2 million monthly unique visitors. You can read Kim Evans in their ‘politics and activism’ section.