Lord Gifford QC was guest speaker this week at a function held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the North Kensington Law Centre.
Lord Gifford had been the co-founder of the centre, with Peter Kandler who was its first in-house solicitor.
Lord Gifford and Peter Kandler recalled the impact of the centre on the local police, local landlords, and the local authority. The centre pioneered the concept of a duty solicitor service so that arrested persons had representation within hours. Illegal evictions were met with injunctions. Disrepair in local authority housing was exposed.
The centre was considered subversive by some. But as Lord Gifford said, "justice will always be subversive to those who abuse power."
There are now over 50 Law Centres in Britain and over 200 in Australia and other countries.