Windrush Justice Clinic
The WJC is an award-winning partnership between King’s Legal Clinic (KLC) and Southwark Law Centre (SLC). The clinic’s focus is to promote the compensation scheme amongst the community; and provide Windrush victims with free legal advice and representation to secure just compensation for their loss and suffering. In the long term the WJC aims to support empirical research into the operation of the Windrush Compensation Scheme (WCS), any systemic unfair practices and access to justice issues, including the broader issues of the hostile environment and racism within immigration law.
Historical background and need
Two years ago, the UK government finally accepted that it had wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights to Commonwealth citizens from the Caribbean, Africa, and Southern Asia in what is now known as the ‘Windrush Scandal’. In April 2019, the government established The Windrush Compensation Scheme (‘WCS’) which aims to provide victims with recompense for their suffering, for issues such as illegal imprisonment and deportation, loss of employment, accrual of debts and loss of homes, frozen bank accounts, lack of access to welfare benefits and health care. The WCS is open until April 2023. The number of applications to the WCS has so far been low, this is partly due to distrust in the government and the WCS in light of the hostile immigration environment. No legal aid is available to prepare an application to the WCS.
KLC and SLC have been incredibly supportive throughout the process and ensure that every single student feels supported in their role. Not only does the project help to spread awareness about access to justice, but it has educated me personally about the true scale and extent of the hardships suffered as a result of the Windrush scandal. Supporting our client has been a really inspiring experience, and I would like to continue working on this
project, or on a similar one, in the future.
Aaliyah Lindo, Law LLB, WJC student volunteer