Community Legal Outreach Collaboration Keele

CLOCK Code of Conduct for Community Legal Companions

This Code of Conduct sets out what can be reasonably expected from the Community Legal Companion’s role within the CLOCK Project.

The CLOCK Project is a collaborative project between the University of Keele, other universities, their students, law firms and third sector organisations working together under a common framework to provide access to justice for the community in accordance with the CLOCK Objectives.

The CLOCK Project is committed to providing volunteer Community Legal Companions with a supportive environment and hopes that volunteers will find their experience engaging and rewarding.

This Code of Conduct is not intended to form a legally binding contract but provides a framework within which a Community Legal Companion must operate for their own protection and that of CLOCK Services Users and the CLOCK Project as a whole. The CLOCK Project may update this Code of Conduct from time to time.

In this Code of Conduct, we use the following terms with the specified meanings:

A CLOCK Project Lead is a University that will deliver a Local Community Legal Companion Service.

A Local Community Legal Companion Service means a local collaboration between the CLOCK Project Lead and CLOCK Service Providers in your area to meet the CLOCK Objectives.

A CLOCK Service Provider includes law firms and third sector organisations who agree to participate within your Local Community Legal Companion Service.

A CLOCK Service User refers to a person who wishes to use a service of the CLOCK Project.

A Community Legal Companion refers to a student trained to assist a CLOCK Service User in supporting access to justice within the strict remit of the McKenzie Friend Practice Guidance.

1.

INTRODUCTION

1.1

The CLOCK Project Lead will train and support a suitably qualified University student to become a Community Legal Companion who will work within a Local Community Legal Companion Service.

1.2

Neither the CLOCK Project Lead nor the Community Legal Companion intends any employment relationship to be created between them either now or at any time in the future.

2.

COMMUNITY LEGAL COMPANION SERVICES

Community Legal Companions participate in the CLOCK Project on a voluntary basis. No charge is made to Service Users, nor do Community Legal Companions receive any payment for their time.

A Community Legal Companion is allowed to carry out ONLY the services listed below:

2.1

Assistance Services

A Community Legal Companion is allowed to assist a CLOCK Service User with accessing legal and court services, either by directly working with the Community Legal Companion or providing assistance within a CLOCK Service Provider.

The Community Legal Companion can only assist the CLOCK Service User by:

  • supporting the CLOCK Service User to fill in their own application forms and to sort and file their own paperwork;
  • accompanying the CLOCK Service User in formal legal proceedings such as a court or tribunal; and/or
  • attending a hearing to take notes for the CLOCK Service User's personal record.
2.2

Signposting Services

A Community Legal Companion may direct a CLOCK Service User to a service provided by another CLOCK Service Provider in accordance with the Signposting Policy, such as:

  • a charitable support service,
  • an advice service,
  • a mediation service,
  • a law firm, or
  • barristers’ chambers.

The signposted service might be either free of charge, available to a CLOCK Service User who qualifies for legal aid or available as an affordable, fixed fee service.

2.3

The Community Legal Companion is ONLY able to provide the assistance and signposting services described above.

Under no circumstances is the Community Legal Companion able to provide any other support, legal or otherwise. By way of example only, this means that the Community Legal Companion cannot provide legal advice or conduct court proceedings and to do so would place the Community Legal Companion at risk of criminal sanction. If either the Community Legal Companion or the CLOCK Service User has any concerns about the remit of the Community Legal Companion, they must contact the CLOCK Project Lead for advice (using the named contact details provided by the CLOCK Project Lead).

The CLOCK Service User must not accept services from the Community Legal Companion other than those described above. The CLOCK Service User remains ultimately responsible for all the decisions and actions involved in their case.

3.

CLOCK PRINCIPLES

A Community Legal Companion must comply with the CLOCK principles, as described in more detail in the training for Community Legal Companions provided by their University:

  • Confidentiality
  • Impartiality
  • Safeguarding
  • Respect
  • Serving the interests of justice
4.

BECOMING A COMMUNITY LEGAL COMPANION

In order to participate in the CLOCK Project, the Community Legal Companion must first:

  • provide a certificate of a criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service which has been accepted by the volunteer’s University
  • completed the full CLOCK training run by the CLOCK Project Lead; and
  • completed the registration process on the CLOCK website http://clock.uk.net.

A University student who has met all the above requirements will receive a badge as evidence that they are qualified to act as a Community Legal Companion and the Community Legal Companion must wear this badge at all times when acting as a Community Legal Companion.

5.

RULES OF CONDUCT AND SAFEGUARDING PRINCIPLES

5.1

The Community Legal Companion must:

5.1.1

carry out the Community Legal Companion role strictly in accordance with the training provided by the CLOCK Project Lead;

5.2

only carry out their role either at the premises of their University, a CLOCK Service Provider or a court. A Community Legal Companion must never meet a CLOCK Service User in any other location;

5.3

ensure that if they are alone with a CLOCK Service User, that they are never behind a closed door;

5.4

never take case papers from the CLOCK Service User or remove them from a CLOCK Service Provider or court’s premises;

5.5

report any safeguarding concerns to their University’s CLOCK safeguarding lead , whose contact details will have been supplied during training. Any general concerns should be reported to their University’s CLOCK administrator or CLOCK director.

To be completed by the Community Legal Companion:

Please acknowledge that you understand the contents of this Code of Conduct by signing, dating and returning the enclosed copy. If you require clarification about any aspect of the Code of Conduct, please discuss with the nominated CLOCK administrator or director at your University.

I confirm that I have read the Code of Conduct and I understand my obligations. In particular, I have read Section 2 above and understand that I must provide ONLY the assistance and signposting services which are specified in this Code of Conduct.

Community Legal Companion

Print Name ..........................................

Signature ...........................................

Date ..................

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