Advancing human rights and equality
through public interest litigation

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Information for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)

The PILS Project works with its NGO members to advance human rights and equality issues affecting people in Northern Ireland.  Through advice giving, advocacy, campaigning and policy work NGOs are well placed to identify recurrent problems which can impact vulnerable and disadvantaged people. 

See our list of NGO members here.


Why join?

  • Membership is free for NGOs that support human rights and equality in Northern Ireland and members are under no duties or obligations.  Membership will enable NGOs to access services free of charge and to receive publications, which include a monthly update, a quarterly newsletter and details about events being held.
  • The PILS Project can support members at all stages of a case.  The in-house solicitor can meet NGOs, take instructions and provide legal advice and representation at court.  The PILS Project can also provide post-judgment support to ensure change happens on the ground. 
  • The PILS Project operates a pro bono register sourcing legal practitioners to provide legal opinions on matters relevant to the work that NGOs do.  Pro bono practitioners can also represent NGOs in court in public interest cases. 
  • The PILS Project has a litigation fund which it uses to help members with the costs of bringing public interest cases.  The PILS Project can provide an indemnity to pay the other party’s costs if the case is lost. The litigation fund can also cover disbursements (for example court fees, expert reports) and (in exceptional circumstances) professional legal fees.
  • Members can attend free training and other events.   
  • Members will have opportunities to engage in collaborative working on issues with other NGOs, solicitor members and pro bono lawyers.

If you have any queries about joining, please e-mail  or telephone (0044) 28 90 994 258.


Membership criteria

  1. The organisation should be a non-party political non-governmental organisation or community group.  Public bodies and statutory commissions, for example, will not be considered for membership.
  2. All members should have an interest in and support for public interest litigation.  We do not require that members have significant knowledge of public interest litigation when making their application but we do require that they have a genuine work related interest in it and are supportive of the purpose and aims of public interest litigation.
  3. Members should support and have experience of working for the advancement of human rights and equality in Northern Ireland.  This could include working on campaigns or projects which raise issues of human rights or equality, such as health policies, disability access or equality of opportunity.


How do I join?

Joining is quick and easy – click here to sign up.


Pro bono legal opinion

To request a pro bono legal opinion please complete this form (also available in pdf here) and email it to


Casework support applications

To request legal and/or financial support for a public interest case please complete this form (also available in pdf here) and email it to