On February 22, the Hindu Lawyers Association (“the HLA”) will conduct a presentation in respect of its first ever legal guide dedicated to Hindu communities in Oldham.
The guide is aimed at providing communities with an insight to their rights and responsibilities so that they can spot potential legal issues and obtain advice. The event is to take place at the Indian Association Oldham and will be attended by representatives of the legal profession and the Hindu Community.
The HLA recognised that there was an information gap as to when communities should obtain legal advice and/or utilise the law to improve practices within their community. In particular, a fairly lax approach is generally taken to regulation during peak festival periods when it is possible that maximum harm can be done to visitors. In order to address these issues, the HLA initiated it first pro bono project which was to produce a legal guide assisting communities in identifying legal issues that require attention.
Students from universities across the UK undertook the preliminary research focussing on legal areas of importance to communities which was then edited by a group of legal professionals to produce the HLA Guide for the Community. The Guide was successfully launched in the Midlands and London with people from various professional and personal backgrounds supporting the event.
“This Guide provides an invaluable resource to executive committees responsible for the running and organisation of mandirs in the UK. It covers, amongst other things, issues relating to contracts of employment, volunteers and safety of visitors, as well as the charitable status of, and donations to, mandirs. I thoroughly recommend it and congratulate the HLA on its production.” Prashant Popat QC, Henderson Chambers.
“As Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus, I am extremely pleased that the HLA has taken the initiative to compile such a guide to assist the Hindu community. It is a very thorough piece of work, yet provides bite-size, practical advice to the Hindu community concerning all sorts of matters that many organisations may face when trying to establish places of Hindu worship. This guide is very much needed and the HLA has filled a void that has strengthened the community. I very much look forward to seeing further practical guides such as this in the future. I am certain that this will be well received.” Bob Blackman MP for Harrow East, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus
“This is the first London launch of a Guide that I hope and trust will be of benefit to the Hindu community at large. The Guide has already been well received in the East Midlands – launched first in Nottingham. Much effort has gone into the preparation of the Guide and I would like to acknowledge each person who has put aside time and effort to think about the content, research the law, and cross-reference the material to produce something that should serve as a point of reference for any organisation whether it is just in the conceptual stages or already well established. It cannot be stressed enough that the Guide is merely a broad canvas. For the fine detail there really is no substitute for professional expertise and advice. In this regard firms such as Irwin Mitchell LLP deserve our thanks and commendation for stepping up to support this publication and in the process bringing to your attention the specialist services provided for the very same public-spirited organisations and ventures.” Pramod K Joshi, Chair of the Hindu Lawyers Association, (2011-2014).