Empowering the voluntary sector (using Public Law)

scales of justice

The Empowering the Voluntary Sector project ran as a funded project (by the Big Lottery) between 2006 and 2012. Although the funding has now ceased the partners involved in the project, NAVCA, Compact Advocacy based at NCVO and the Public Law Project are still working very much in tandem to offer some of those services.

NAVCA are still able to offer workshops in the use of public law and the Compact and Compact Advocacy are still providing support and advice through the EVS advice line.

Both NAVCA and Compact Advocacy remain in regular contact with colleagues at the Public Law Project and wherever possible they will endeavour to provide advice on a public law dispute. We are developing relationships with other public law practitioners so that we can continue, when appropriate, to support an organisation wishing to bring a legal challenge.

The project will not be able to publish the regular newsletters with updates, case studies, etc. as we have in the past. However, we will still endeavour to get important information such case studies out via these webpages and our other NAVCA publications.

The overall aim of our joint working remains the same as when funded to deliver the project. That is, to strengthen the relationship between voluntary and community sector organisations and public bodies and significantly increase opportunities to influence funding and other decisions made by public bodies.

The pages we have linked to below will continue to offer a range of resources, advice, and information about our training. There is also a new page, Supporting Change. This has a range of new and updated resources developed as a formal end to the EVS project. From here, you can download an updated version of the guides to public law and the Compact and two presentations summarising the key points. You will also be able to download information about using public law and the Compact in a tender dispute as well as a practical application tool to support your organisation if a public law or Compact dispute should arise.


Kevin Curley, former chief executive of NAVCA said of the EVS project:

"The public law training courses have helped to transform the negotiating skills of local third sector representatives across England since 2006. Equipped with an understanding of the principles of public law, local support and development organisations and frontline groups are able to challenge local authorities and Primary Care Trusts which fail to consult the local third sector or commit serious Compact breaches.

Neither local charities nor local authorities want to end up in the High Court as a result of judicial reviews.

These public law courses enable local organisations to argue and negotiate from a position of strength. Through this new partnership we will be able to give local organisations even more help."


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