In praise of: Emma Scott
At Rights of Women, we can hardly believe that Emma Scott, our director for 12 years, is leaving us (although we have appointed a wonderful successor in Estelle du Boulay).
The domestic violence gateway judicial review, won on appeal, was a great finale to her time here. Our experience and evidence showed the gateway dramatically reduced the number of women in abusive relationships who were eligible to claim legal aid: in a RoW survey, 50 per cent of respondents said they took no legal action as a direct result of ineligibility for legal aid. Emma led this judicial review brilliantly, staying calm and professional and, above all, persistent and convincing.
Emma, the staunchest of feminists, is a leading voice on access to justice for women, and her opinion is sought by many organisations in our sector. She has worked on every issue imaginable, including forced marriage, sexual violence, prostitution, child contact and custody, and immigration issues.
Over the years Emma has made a positive impact on the lives of thousands of women. She has supported individuals with her work on our advice line, first staffing it then overseeing it. She has made a huge difference for women as a group by her tireless campaigning. This is a fantastic legacy and we are all in her debt. At RoW, we will be proud to continue the work that Emma has started. Despite her amazing achievements, she would be the first to point out that there is much still to do to gain access to justice for women in our country in the 21st century.