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Legal Organisation

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Advice Now
Advicenow is an independent, not-for-profit website providing accurate, up-to-date information on rights and legal issues, and is funded by the New Opportunities Fund; the Legal Services Commission; the Invest to Save Budget and the Department of Constitutional Affairs. This information service brings together the best information on the law and rights from over 200 UK websites. It doesn’t use a search engine, every link has been hand picked and summarised by a team of experienced advisers. The site also has a section on living together and includes a draft agreement for couples who want to protect their rights in the event of the relationship ending. 

British and Irish Ombudsmen Association
The BIOA lists ombudsmen and other complaint-handling bodies, covering most subjects, who may be able to help you, if you have a complaint. Ombudsmen are an independent and impartial means of resolving certain disputes outside the courts. On the site are brief details of each scheme with links and contact details. 

Community Legal Service
Set up by the Government, the objective is to assist in finding help from legal service providers. There is a directory of over 15,000 legal services providers in the UK with a search facility by postcode. There are also useful leaflets on a range of subjects which are available to download. 

Court Service
The Court Service is an executive agency of the Lord Chancellors Department. The site contains information on Judgements, Court Guides, Tribunals, Fees and a digest of weekly news items. There is also the provision of downloadable forms and leaflets, including those on divorce, housing and the Family Law Act, 1996. Find also addresses of all local courts. 

Department for Constitutional Affairs
Responsible in government for upholding justice, rights and democracy. Its objectives are to: provide effective and accessible justice for all; ensure people's rights and responsibilities; and enhance democratic freedoms by modernising the law and the constitution. The responsibilities of the Department for Constitutional Affairs have transferred to the new Ministry of Justice. 

Law Gazette
Although a publication produced by the Law Society of England and Wales for Solicitors, it is a useful source of information with news and features on the latest developments in the law, with a searchable archive. 

Law Society of England and Wales
The Law Society is the professional body for solicitors in England and Wales, responsible for setting standards and improving access to the law. The website includes information about the Law Society and provides definitive authority on the rules and principles of Solicitor's conduct, as well as how to choose a solicitor and check their credentials in their directory, books, CD roms, forms, and online information available from their publishing service. The Law Society's solicitors-online site contains a database of 80,000 solicitors which the user can search by solicitor's name, firm name, specialism, location or languages spoken. Also on the site is the Consumer Complaints Service, which has replaced the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors and focuses exclusively on the rapid resolution of complaints about poor service from Solictiors. 

Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission
The website of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission is designed to improve access to information on the Legal processes. The site includes a directory of solicitors that may be used for legal aid. 

Law Society of Scotland
The website of the Scottish Law Society includes information on over 2000 firms across Scotland 

Legal Island (Ireland and Northern Ireland)
The site features links to hundreds of web pages with information relevant to the law in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It will be of assistance if you require information on civil or criminal legal aid, the law society, finding a solicitor or law firm in Belfast or Dublin, new legislation or court judgements. 

Legal Services Commission (formerly Legal Aid Board)
As well as administering the Legal Aid System a series of booklets are available, such as A Practical Guide to Legal Aid, giving a readable explanation as to how the system works. In addition, the Community Legal Service is developing networks of people giving legal help and advice such as on housing, benefits and debts. Some help and advice is free. The Legal Aid Board has been replaced by the Legal Services Commission, which now runs the scheme (the equivalent body in Scotland is the Scottish Legal Aid Board)

Legal Services Ombudsman
The Legal Services Ombudsman oversees the handling of complaints about solicitors, barristers, licensed conveyancers and legal executives by the four professional bodies responsible for setting and maintaining standards of conduct and service within the legal profession. A free of charge service, the primary role is to investigate the way these bodies have dealt with complaints. In exceptional circumstances the subject matter of the original complaint will be investigated. Most cases involve allegations of either professional misconduct or poor service by lawyers. 

Married or Not
On these pages you will find: a simple overview of the legal position of married and unmarried couples; a look at how the myth of common-law marriage came about; key facts and trends; and research on the changing nature of marriage and who cohabits, when and why?. 

Official Solicitors Office
The Official Solicitor provides representation for minors or adults under legal disability, and sometimes others, in County Court or High Court proceedings in England and Wales, and in the Court of Protection. This site has technical and practical information for members of the general public as well as the legal profession. 

Office for the Supervision of Solicitors
The OSS has now been replaced by the Consumer Complaints Service of the Law Society- information is found under the "Visitors Section" of the Law Society website 

Scottish Courts - DIY Divorce?
Guidance published by the Scottish Courts on the simplified divorce procedure in Scotland. Online leaflet provides information on whether you qualify, how much it costs and what you have to do. 

Resolution (previously Solicitors Family Law Association)
An association of over 5,000 solicitors who agree to a Code of Practice covering relationships with clients, dealing with other solicitors, dealing with parties not represented by a solicitor, court proceedings, children and when the client is a child. The code is meant to be flexible and where necessary, solicitors may depart from what are guidelines not rules.