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PILS casework application form

You should use this form if your organisation is seeking legal representation or financial support for a public interest case.

Casework application form

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PILS pro bono application form

You should fill out this form if your organisation needs pro bono (free) legal assistance with a public interest matter.

Pro bono application form

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PILS training request form

You should complete this form if your organisation needs a training session on a particular area of human rights or equality law to assist the organisation’s public interest work.

Training request form

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Join The PILS Project’s team for To Be Fair NI – the first-ever PILS podcast series about the the activists and allies using the law to change lives in Northern Ireland.

Hear from the local human rights defenders and lawyers taking life-changing legal challenges – often under the radar.

We started our podcast journey in autumn 2023 with a behind-the-scenes look at the Clean Air NI case. Holding our Breath was a special three-part mini series about the shocking story of an air quality failure that has been allowed to continue for years-  all told by the campaigners and lawyers who are going to court to make it stop.

S1: Amazing Potential feat. EJNI

Pollution doesn’t stop at the border… so why should climate action?

Dr Ciara Brennan & Caitlin McIlhennon tell us how Environmental Justice Network Ireland is challenging environmental injustice on the island of Ireland.

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S1: Climate Justice & rebalancing power

In this thought-provoking episode of To Be Fair NI, we delve into the heart of climate justice, a priority area for The PILS Project.

Discover how PILS leverages legal expertise to support place protectors and environmental NGOs, and learn about upcoming court dates that could shape Northern Ireland’s climate justice landscape.

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S1: The human rights infrastructure feat. NIHRC's Alyson Kilpatrick

In this episode, the PILS staff team explore:

  • What the human rights infrastructure is
  • How it has come under attack in 2023
  • And how human rights defenders in Northern Ireland can work with PILS to protect it

You’ll also hear NIHRC Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick talk about why defending the rule of law is not a game and how she remains hopeful while doing this work.

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S1: Introduction to the small and mighty team

Series One of TBFNI is all about introductions. In this first episode, you’ll discover:

    • where our podcast’s name came from (NI or nai?)
    • who the humans behind The PILS Project are
    • how our new Toolkit is demystifying litigation
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Holding Our Breath: Episode Three

It’s all been leading up to this moment. After years of planning, expert reports and compiling legal arguments, the #CleanAirNI challenge is going to court.

But what actually happens where we get there?

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Holding Our Breath: Episode Two

The Clean Air NI story continues as lawyers and human rights campaigners team up to tackle a shocking air quality failing in Northern Ireland.

In this episode, one of the legal team gets some life-changing news.

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Holding Our Breath: Episode One

Go behind the scenes of Northern Ireland’s landmark environmental court case.

You’ll learn about a truly shocking air quality failing – and meet the team of lawyers and campaigners going to court to make it stop.

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The Update newsletter is a roundup of public interest news, case law and podcast/reading recommendations created for you by the PILS Project.

Update: summer 2022

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Update: August 2022

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Impact Reports

PILS Impact Report 2019

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The first-ever PILS Project Impact Report is intended to give readers a flavour of the work we have been doing to support public interest litigation in NI since 2009.

This report goes behind the scenes of ten years of the PILS Project. We are defining impact as the difference that having PILS involved (in a big or small way) made to our members’ work. This effect should be positive and have resulted in change that reaches beyond one person, for a wider transformation.

Litigation by its very nature can be a long and drawn out process. So we recognise that several of the stories in this report are not finished yet. It can be a little bit harder to quantify the impact of a piece of legal work, as often the change it creates takes time to reveal itself. Powerful judgments need to be elevated off paper and into people’s lives and this again takes time.

This impact report will hopefully demonstrate what advancing human rights and equality through public interest legal work looks like in practice. And the best way to do that is for us to let our members’ experiences tell the story, with beautiful illustrations from the creative design team at Us Folk.

Click here to download a pdf copy of the Impact Report.

We hope you enjoy it!

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Joint PILS and HRC Briefing: Illegal Migration Bill (March 2023)

PDF: 980.10 KB

The Illegal Migration Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 7 March 2023. It aims to replace the UK’s asylum system with a process designed to detain and remove individuals who enter the UK irregularly.

This joint briefing – from The PILS Project and the Human Rights Consortium – will provide an overview of the changes to the asylum process and address potential implications for Northern Ireland. In particular, it analyses the ways in which this Bill may contravene Article 2 of the Protocol/Windsor Framework and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

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10 years of PILS in Northern Ireland: summary (Jan 2020)

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10 years of The PILS Project in Northern Ireland (Jan 2020)

PDF: 629.27 KB
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Report: The impact of Brexit on children's rights across the island of Ireland (Dec 2017)

PDF: 2.78 MB

Selected legal aspects of the impact of Brexit on the rights of children across the island of Ireland.

A research paper compiled by A&L Goodbody on behalf of the Children’s Rights Alliance and the Children’s Law Centre

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PILS response to the Human Rights Act Reform consultation (2022)

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Submission to the Independent Human Rights Act Review call for evidence

PDF: 129.71 KB

This document is being submitted to both the Independent Review on the Human Rights Act and the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ Inquiry

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Independent Review of Administrative Law (Judicial Review)

PDF: 81.14 KB

The Independent Review of Administrative Law was launched in July 2020. A call for evidence ran from 7 September 2020 to 26 October 2020.

Based on the PILS Project’s 11 years of experience supporting public interest litigation in Northern Ireland, it is our firm view that an individual’s ability to engage in judicial review proceedings is a fundamental safeguard necessary to ensure adherence to the rule of law and protect human rights and equality.

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Response to the Engagement Paper on Pro Bono Cost Orders

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Webinar: The Power of Pro Bono for your CV

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Webinar: Intersections between Human Rights and Climate Justice

Organised by The PILS Project to celebrate UK Pro Bono Week 2022, this webinar looked at the developing area of rights-based climate litigation.

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