Welcome to PALG
The Police Action Lawyers Group (PALG) is a national organisation comprised of solicitors, barristers and legal executives who represent complainants against the police throughout England and Wales.
PALG members are concerned first and foremost with the principal objectives of the complainants we represent: to ensure that the police are held accountable for their conduct through all available avenues, including the police complaints system, judicial review and compensation claims. In many circumstances, llitigation through the civil courts can be the only means by which complainants are able to enjoy any access to justice and thereby to defend their civil liberties in the face of malpractice on the part of officers of the state. PALG members hope that by upholding our clients’ rights and highlighting poor practice, improvements will be made to police services and other state authorities against whom our clients bring claims.
PALG members have been involved with numerous notable police complaint cases, civil claims and inquiries. These cases typically involve allegations of false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution (often aggravated by discrimination), but are not limited to such work. Some of the most distressing cases we deal with are on behalf of families whose relatives have died in police custody. Many of our members are also active within the INQUEST Lawyers Group.
We were established in 1991 and meet every three months. Our meetings take place in London, are open only to members, and video links for members in other regions are set up at their request.
PALG grew out of a desire to share information & expertise, and to ensure that complainant lawyers did not feel they were working in isolation. This was achieved by establishing regular meetings to discuss complainants' concerns and developments in police law & practice. This website was created to allow members of the public an insight into who we are and what we do, and to share our responses to various consultations in which we have been involved.
Due to our large and varied membership, the collective experience of PALG is considerable. We include lawyers who act on behalf of complainants against virtually every force in England and Wales. Membership is contingent on lawyers only acting for complainants, to ensure that we provide a wholly independent space to discuss complainants' concerns.
All of our work as an organisation is voluntary and we receive no funding of any kind. The group is motivated by a desire to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients, many of whom have suffered the most serious abuse at the hands of the police.
As a group we have also been in a position to liaise with other organisations representing complainant interests, including INQUEST, Liberty, Justice and MIND. We have also developed a lobbying role, particularly in relation to the police complaints system. To that end our members have attended before Select Committees, met with Ministers, and prepared regular briefings. If you are interested in our campaigning position, please see the section entitled “consultation responses” where you can find some of our written responses to various consultation exercises.
Please note that due to the nature of our work and organisation, unfortunately we cannot accept membership from individuals not involved in complainant work in this field. For the same reason, we have not included any contact details for the group itself, nor for any members of the group. If you support our work, please do support our responses in relation to consultations.