Skip to navigation Skip to main content

You are currently in: Community legal services

  Areas of civil law

30 September 2013

If you are seeking help on a legal issue, the following page provides details of where to go for help. These are the most common areas of civil law:

Actions against the police  

If you have a complaint against the police in relation to issues such as assault, false imprisonment or wrongful arrest, the Citizens Advice Bureau has a useful section on their website which outlines your rights. 


Clinical negligence 

Clinical negligence refers to claims for damages against public and private medical practitioners. This includes treatment from doctors, nurses and dentists. GOV.UK offers information about Civil Legal Advice.

Community care 

Community care refers to the provision of services for older people, the sick and those with disabilities. If you have an issue with these services, which is not resolved by your local authority, you should seek the advice of a qualified solicitor.
For older people, Age UK offers help and advice on issues such as healthcare, social care and equal rights.

Consumer affairs 

For issues surrounding the purchase of unsatisfactory goods or services, The Citizens Advice Consumer Service, a Government sponsored consumer rights group, should be the first port of call.  

Debt, money and tax 

You can receive free and impartial advice on financial matters, including debt and insolvency from a number of sources. These include: 
  • National debtline – Offers free, confidential advice on a number of debt related issues. 


Parents who make appeals against their local authority on issues such as bullying, special needs or school exclusion, may wish to seek legal advice.
There are several organisations which can help, including the Children’s Legal Centre and the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE).


The following offer help and advice on a range of employment issues, including unfair dismissal, discrimination and disputes over pay and conditions:
  • GOV.UK –  employment information from the government.
  • Advice Now – A comprehensive guide to employment issues, with links to a number of other useful resources.


Common themes within family law involve the breakdown of relationships and the custody and maintenance of children. The following are useful resources for those faced with these issues:
Children’s Legal Centre – For issues relating to children following a divorce or separation, or education disputes, the Children’s Legal Centre can help.
Divorce Online – Includes useful information on relationship breakdown and divorce, including benefits and housing advice.


Housing problems range from evictions and landlord disputes to nuisance neighbours. Organisations that can help you include:
  • Shelter – Can help if you face being homeless.
  • Crisis – Can provide assistance to find housing.

Immigration and nationality 

If you need information about nationality and asylum, including your right to live and work in the UK, please see the UK Border Agency website

Personal injury 

If you have been injured in an accident which was not your fault, then you may be able to claim compensation. For more information, the Citizens Advice Bureau offers a useful guide to Making a personal injury claim.

Public law 

Public Law refers to activity that is delivered, controlled or regulated in some way, by either local or national government. Examples of this are local authority decisions on issues such as adult social care, education or planning matters.
If you require addition information, please see the Local government Ombudsman website

Back to top