Fast-track immigration appeals “risk running roughshod over people’s rights”Pepperells
We see and hear much a great deal when it comes to what is, or isn’t, happening regards Brexit.
Meanwhile, the people stuck in the immigration system wait with bated breath. Now, the Law Society of England and Wales has warned that Home Office proposals to curtail the timeline for appeals by people held in immigration detention centres could lead to injustices.
“If people in immigration detention are forced to make appeals through a fast-track system there is a real risk of unjust decisions leading to people being removed from the UK unlawfully,” Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said.
“Asylum and immigration claims may be complex and gathering evidence can take time. If the claimant is detained there are also significant barriers to consulting a solicitor.
“Accelerating the appeals process when there are so many unreliable initial decisions by the Home Office risks riding roughshod over people’s rights.”
Many claims diverted to the fast-track would be on human rights grounds, and Home Office figures show 56 per cent of appeals on these grounds succeed. Other claims would be for asylum where 41 per cent of appeals are upheld.
“The Windrush crisis has shown how devastating an incorrect Home Office decision can be,” Christina Blacklaws said.
“When the stakes for appellants are so high, the UK must maintain the highest standard of fairness and make every effort to ensure just decisions.
“There must be effective judicial oversight of asylum and immigration appeals. Quicker, fairer hearings can be achieved under the existing rules with a better resourced judiciary and court system.”
The UK Visa and Immigration service has a history of things taking an inordinate amount of time, or things being fast-tracked – you either must wait for 12 to 18 months for a hearing (out of detention) or your appeal is rushed (those in detention).
Surely there is scope for some middle ground?