Our vision is of a society that fosters the principles of justice and fairness, where people understand and use law to bring about positive change and to prevent harm and where public systems and structures uphold the rule of law.
The UK justice system is undergoing a period of challenge and rapid change which has far-reaching consequences for people’s ability to understand and use the law. There has been chronic under-resourcing of legal organisations at the same time as legal needs have risen. Sustainable employment, career development and access to the profession have all come under pressure. Meanwhile, legal and constitutional changes brought about by the UK’s exit from the EU, along with the increasing adoption of digital technology and automated data processing by government, are producing fundamental changes to UK institutions and the exercise of public power.
This matters particularly for the significant numbers of people who cannot obtain justice in relation to their fundamental rights. We know that these unmet needs trigger or exacerbate cluster of problems that have significant impacts on individuals, communities and wider public policy goals.
Legal education sits at the heart of activities to ensure law plays its role effectively: It is how people can be helped to know and access legal remedies; it is how people and organisations working in the law can improve the ways they identify and resolve legal needs; and the study and analysis of evidence arising out of this activity can positively influence wider policy and justice systems.
Organisations tackling these challenges have experienced significant constraints that have affected their ability to deliver services at the scale needed, to invest in their infrastructure, to develop related fields of policy, research and communications and to attract and retain skilled staff. These organisations face a task of such scale and complexity that significant and sustained strategic investment is needed to help them play their roles. The Foundation’s resources put us in a position to support organisations to address this challenge.
We support work in all four nations of the UK, recognising the need to reflect local needs and differences, including the different legal jurisdictions and devolved powers. The focus of our work is in the UK, but we also look to learn from and to inform international practice and experience.
Our work to 2025 will be divided into three programmes:
We see the Foundation as part of a mutual endeavour, establishing engaged and supportive relationships with those who share our vision, and bringing people together to build alliances and to share expertise.
We seek to listen and learn, recognising the commitment and expertise that exists in the organisations we work with. We underpin our work with good information and analysis, continually building our knowledge and seeking to reflect this in our work.
We aim to be a trusted voice, using our knowledge, networks and independence to influence those who can effect change.
We have a responsibility to use the Foundation’s resources to be bold, to support work that others cannot, or do not, and to take a long-term view.
We seek to support and promote diversity and reflect lived experience in our work.
We aim to be clear about the way we operate and the choices that we make.
We marshal and deploy our resources thoughtfully and, as an organisation, seek to maintain the highest standards of operational and administrative efficiency.
Our strategic plan takes forward lessons from our first phase of activity between 2015 and 2020.
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Registered charity 271297 (England/Wales)