Our approach to strategic litigation

We believe that the law can be an effective tool for social change, and put this into practice through strategic legal challenges.

Just for Kids Law is one of the few children and young people’s charities that takes on strategic legal cases to achieve wider social change.

We challenge public bodies such as central government, local authorities and the police through lobbying, complaints and litigation. We also take challenges in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. As well as taking our own cases, we frequently intervene in relevant cases or provide witness statements to support others’ litigation.

We have recently made headlines in national media for issuing judicial review proceedings against the Home Office over its guidelines for the use of children as spies by the police and other investigative agencies. We also secured a landmark Supreme Court judgment on the disclosure of youth reprimands and cautions in criminal record checks, a decision that could benefit thousands of children issued with youth cautions every year.

Using the law for social change has long been a cornerstone of our work and we have produced a series of animated films drawing on the learning from our work setting out how strategic litigation can be used as a tool by charities fighting for progress.

Dr Lisa Vanhala of University College London has produced a research report into our strategic intervention in the case of R (Tigere) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, outlining in detail our approach to strategic litigation, including preparing the case, securing funding and communicating with the media, as well as how to effectively involve young people and embed changes through legacy activities.