Law Centre (NI) policy officer to receive royal honour

Wednesday, June 28th 2017

Liz Griffith speaking at Amnesty event - Feb 2017

Liz Griffith speaking at an Amnesty International event earlier this year.

Liz Griffith, Policy Officer at Law Centre (NI), was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017 for services to vulnerable people.

The news comes as Law Centre (NI) celebrates its 40th birthday, and is an important recognition of the vital services that it provides.

Working in partnership, Law Centre (NI) has helped secure a statutory entitlement to advice for everyone in Northern Ireland affected by welfare reform, as well as other mitigations for welfare reform.

In employment law, advocacy from Law Centre (NI) and partners has led to the retention of the 1 year qualifying period for employment cases concerning unfair dismissal. 

Much of Liz's recent work concerned immigration and asylum provisions, for which the Law Centre succeeded in getting a commitment to sustain legal aid. She was involved in securing access to free healthcare for all asylum seekers and helped bring about the creation of a NI Crisis Fund for destitute migrants. Liz was also involved in achieving a commitment to independent legal guardianship for all separated migrant children, and a statutory entitlement to support for victims of modern slavery.

Liz Griffith said:

“I was rather surprised! While grateful for the nomination, I am acutely aware that all of my achievements at Law Centre (NI) are always due to a joint effort. I am therefore keen to pay tribute to all my colleagues past and present at the Law Centre and to my friends, peers and fellow idealists and dreamers from across the sector. I am lucky to work with some very inspiring people!

I was also a little ambivalent about the award as I am mindful that sometimes it is government policies and legal frameworks that create and perpetuate vulnerabilities, as in the case of policies restricting access to the labour market or social security system.”

Ursula O’Hare, Law Centre (NI) Director, said:

“This recognition of Liz’s work is a recognition of the vital services provided by Law Centres. Law Centre (NI) stands for access to justice as a means to promote social justice. In a period of political and economic uncertainty, the work of organisations like the Law Centre remains as important now as it always was”

For further details about this, please contact Nimrod at the Law Centres Network at nimrod@lawcentres.org.uk