What is Casebase?
Community Law & Mediation or Northside Community Law Centre as it was then known, commissioned research to be carried out regarding the operation of the Social Welfare Appeals system and a report was published in 2005 entitled "The Social Welfare Appeals System: Accessible and Fair?”. One of the recommendations highlighted in the report was the need for a database of decisions concerning appeals determined by the Social Welfare Appeals Office which would assist other community groups and individuals who are taking appeals and would also encourage consistency in the appeals process.
As a result, we launched Casebase in 2006. Casebase is the only database of Social Welfare Appeals decisions in Ireland, with the aim of providing the public and community organisations with access to decisions of the Social Welfare Appeals Office on cases taken by Northside Community Law Centre. Over 60 cases have been published to date and we have recently expanded Casebase to include cases taken by other organisations and we hope that more voluntary organisations will contribute cases to the database.
Aims of Casebase
The Social Welfare Appeals Office do not publish their decisions, apart from a selection of case studies published in their Annual Report. This is why Community Law & Mediation aims to promote greater transparency in the Social Welfare Appeals system through the Casebase project.
By providing a database of decisions, CLM aims to provide greater clarity on the reasons for an Appeals Officer’s decision, encourage the Social Welfare Appeals Office to take a consistent approach to cases, and assist members of the public and voluntary organisations/NGOs in deciding to appeal decisions and in the preparation of appeal submissions.