We at DYJ are aware that try as we might we can’t fit everything into our website, so below are some of the more useful sites available which can offer further information and guidance on a variety of legal matters. There are of course thousands of sites which offer “free” legal advice but which more often then not are fronts for claims companies. Unless is says otherwise the ones we list all provide genuinely free advice. The other important thing is that they are also updated regularly so the information they contain is up to date and accurate.
If you know of a site which you feel might be useful to other DYJ users then please don’t hesitate to get in touch and tell us all about it.
http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ - The Citizens Advice service is a registered charity which helps people resolve over 5.3 million legal, money and other problems every year by providing free information and advice from nearly 3,400 locations across the UK. Their site will help you locate the nearest centre and their advice guide offers free fact sheets and answers to many different legal and financial queries.
http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/ - Her Majesty's Courts Service is an executive agency of the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA). They are responsible for the administration of the civil, family and criminal courts in England and Wales. Within this site, you will find a wide range of information covering details on all our courts and how to find them, information on procedures and processes and forms and guidance to help you when using the courts.
http://www.jsboard.co.uk/civil_law/cbb/index.htm - The JSB is directly responsible for training full and part-time judges in England and Wales, and for overseeing the training of Lay magistrates and chairmen and members of Tribunals. The Civil Bench Book is therefore the judge’s bible, offering guidance on all matters likely to be encountered on a day in Court. There was uproar amongst judges when the Freedom of Information Act made the guide available online. If you want to know how to prepare for a hearing or what points a judge will be looking for before reaching his decision this should be your first port of call.
http://www.oft.gov.uk/default.htm - The Office of Fair Trading is an independent government organisation, with the aim of helping and protecting consumer rights throughout the UK. Their site offers information about your rights as a consumer on topics from buying a used car to shopping online as well as information for businesses on what is expected of you when dealing with customers and clients on a day to day basis.
http://www.bioa.org.uk/ - Ombudsmen exist to deal with complaints from ordinary people about certain public bodies or private sector services. This site lists the ombudsmen and other complaint-handling bodies who may be able to help you, if you have a complaint. Ombudsmen will investigate matters free of charge and are an independent and impartial means of resolving certain disputes outside the courts. Each ombudsman scheme operates under slightly different rules, but in general an ombudsman does not consider a complaint unless the organisation, business or professional standards body concerned has first been given a reasonable opportunity to deal with it.
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ - Not a legal site as such but one that we feel will appeal to the DYJ mentality and which should be top of everybody’s favourites list. Owned and run by money saving expert Martin Lewis the sites aim is to help you save money on anything and everything by finding the best deals and beating the system. Voted Radio 2’s Most Useful Website of the Year in the three years since it was founded this site has become the UK’s most popular independent money site with over two million visits per month. It has everything! Including a weekly e-mail of the best deals, a flight checker which sources the cheapest flights around and the fantastic “Tart Alert” which will text you to remind you when your 0% (or other) credit card rate is going to end.
http://www.mib.org.uk – The Motor Insurers Bureau was established in 1946 for the purpose of compensating the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced motorists. Every insurer underwriting compulsory motor insurance is obliged, by virtue of the Road Traffic Act 1988, to be a member of MIB and to contribute to its funding. If you are involved in an accident and the other driver didn’t have insurance or didn’t stop then the MIB may compensate you. There are strict rules to follow but the site provides all the information and forms necessary to make a claim.
Visit Website – The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority administers the criminal injuries compensation scheme throughout England, Scotland and Wales paying compensation to people who have been the victim of a violent crime. Since the first scheme was set up in 1964, the CICA has paid more than £3billion in compensation. The level of compensation is determined according to a scale, or tariff, set by Parliament. The tariff includes descriptions of over 400 injuries, with each attached to one of 25 levels of compensation between £1,000 and £250,000. Awards are discretionary and may be refused if you have failed to help police in their enquiries or if you yourself have a criminal record. Importantly CICA claims have a time limit of 2 years from the date of the not 3 years like most Personal Injury claims.
http://www.cjsonline.gov.uk/ - The Criminal Justice System. If you have come into contact with the criminal justice system as a victim of crime, a witness, juror or you have been accused or convicted of a crime then this government run site can help. Simply click on the relevant section to find out what is likely to happen next, which organisations you will come into contact with and who you can get in touch with for further help and support.
http://www.acas.org.uk/ - Founded in 1975 ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) is the employment relations service for England, Scotland and Wales offering practical, independent and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives. The site allows you to download leaflets which deal with just about every employment based query as well as all the necessary forms for making an application to an employment tribunal
Visit Website – Produced by the Central Office of Information, Directgov provides information from across UK Government departments on topics ranging from travel safety and parental leave to special educational needs and local NHS services. The site also brings together an increasing number of online government services to make your life easier - from booking a driving test and taxing your car to renewing your passport or applying for a student loan. This link takes you to a comprehensive guide to your rights as a consumer.
http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/home.law - The Law Society is the regulatory and representative body for solicitors in England and Wales. If you want to find a specialist solicitor in your area or have a complaint about a service you have received from a solicitor then the Law Society are the people to speak to. They also deal with complaints if you feel the solicitor hasn’t provided the service they should have.
http://www.yourrights.org.uk/ Liberty is an independent human rights organisation which works to defend and extend rights and freedoms in England and Wales. Their Your Rights website aims to provide an easily understood guide to the Human Rights Act 1998, explaining its relevance and impact in many different areas of law ranging from rights of privacy to rights of peaceful protest. It is written by expert lawyers, but intended primarily for people who have no specialist legal knowledge.
http://www.legaltv.co.uk - Legal TV is a free to air channel available to all satellite viewers in the United Kingdom on the Sky channel 885, offering advice on all different aspects of the law. The website is used to generate enquires which are later used in their programmes so if you e-mail for advice be prepared for a phone call asking if you’d mind being on the TV! The site also provides advertising revenue for the station and so it is important to be aware that the solicitors mentioned on it have paid to be there and are not being recommended by the channel. As always, if you need to find a solicitor then contact the Law Society on the link above. The best thing about the site however is that it provides free live streaming of the channel for those without Sky as well as an archive of old shows.