We are a law centre that operates as a social enterprise. This means that the money we make is reinvested to help people access justice. We are the first legal practice in Scotland to operate in this way.
In January this year we invited Alison Thewliss to speak at our launch event.
Alison spoke passionately about her campaign to scrap the UK Government's two-child tax credits policy.
Tax credits are a form of welfare benefit, mainly paid to working parents on low incomes.
The two-child policy stops families on low incomes claiming these important tax credits for three or more children.
This policy has far reaching consequences.
In order to claim for a third child, a woman has to apply for a "compassionate" exception. One exception requires a woman to prove that their child was born as a result of non-consensual sex. In less polite terms, this means a child born as a result of rape.
No woman should have to prove they were raped in order to receive child tax credits.
Why is this important?
Many families rely on child tax credits to supplement their income and the UK Government's new policy will have a detrimental effect them. Families will be placed further into poverty as a result of this policy.
If, as seems likely, fertility rates do not change significantly, the costs of this policy will ultimately fall on children in the families affected. The impact of growing up in a family that struggles to provide basic necessities will mean this policy is likely to have financial and social consequences well into the future.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission have also attacked the UK Government's policy. They have cited important human rights concerns, and have asked the UK Government to reform their policy.
This issue has been widely covered in the press, on social media and online.
The Prime Minister has refused to amend UK Government policy.
Many campaign groups have also criticised the policy because it could potentially stigmatise women and their children.
What will the money be used for?
£3000 will be used to obtain a legal opinion on the UK Government's two child tax credit policy. This will be used to asses the legal merits of taking a case to Court.
Why do we need a legal opinion?
Before any legal action can begin, we need to be sure about our case. We would also need to know the relevant strengths and weaknesses of any arguments to be made.
This is an expensive undertaking, as a lot of research and preparation will have to be done.
Any next steps?
If we decide to go ahead with a legal challenge, and assuming the legal advice is in our favour, we will continue to crowdfund to pay for a Court case.
Any surplus funds will be used to support our work furthering equality, in accordance with CrowdJustice's Terms and Conditions.
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