Legal aid cuts and the Immigration Act 2014


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Presentation to AVID (Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees) on the impact of recent cuts in legal aid funding and the new Immigration Act 2014

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Legal aid cuts and the Immigration Act 2014

  1. 1. Immigration detention The impact of legal aid cuts and the Immigration Act 2014 Presentation by Colin Yeo
  2. 2. About me • Editor of Free Movement blog ( • Barrister at Garden Court Chambers • Specialise in immigration work • Background in the charity advice sector
  3. 3. Legal aid key points • Funding for non asylum appeals abolished, including deportation cases • Funding for early stages of judicial review now 'at risk', meaning lawyers highly reluctant • But judicial review funding is still available if permission granted • Private funding of initial stages may be needed • Conditional Fee Arrangements (CFAs) may be possible
  4. 4. Immigration Act key points • Restricted rights and grounds of appeal • Out of country deportation appeals • Restrictions on repeat bail applications • Simplified removal process • Additional safeguards for families and children
  5. 5. Funding • No legal aid for appeals outside asylum cases • This means no legal aid for family and/or private life deportation cases • New project at BID will offer some pro bono representation
  6. 6. Funding II • There is still legal aid for: • tribunal bail applications • judicial review including unlawful detention cases • BUT legal aid payments are only made if permission for judicial review is granted • ‘At risk’ funding for lawyers means many are now reluctant to take risk of working for free
  7. 7. Funding III • Detainees often lack the resources (whether financial, emotional, intellectual) to help themselves • Helping detainees to gather evidence through friends and family is critical • Private funding for initial stages • Conditional Fee Arrangements may be possible
  8. 8. Immigration Act 2014 • Rights of appeal • Reduced from 17 to 3 • No right of appeal unless refugee or human rights decision • e.g. not on basis that immigration rules not satisfied or EC law would be breached • Only remedy there is judicial review
  9. 9. Immigration Act 2014 II • Out of country appeals • Where case is certified as involving a person liable to deportation • If SSHD considers no breach of Human Rights Act 1998 if person removed. Proposed test: “P would not, before the appeals process is exhausted, face a real risk of serious irreversible harm if removed to the country or territory to which P is proposed to be removed”
  10. 10. Immigration Act 2014 III • Means of challenge to out of country certificates • Out of country appeals hard to fight effectively • Judicial review of certificate is possible - but subject to funding constraints earlier discussed • Attempt to show there would be a breach of human right of deportee or their family if person removed
  11. 11. Immigration Act 2014 IV • Immigration bail • No bail w/o consent of SSHD if removal directions are within 14 days • Bail must be refused if repeat application within 28 days unless “unless the person demonstrates to the Tribunal that there has been a material change in circumstances”
  12. 12. Immigration Act 2014 V • Streamlined and simplified removal power for those without leave and their families • Some safeguards for children and families, e.g. child detention • Some positive citizenship improvements
  13. 13. Questions?