Law Society warns incorrect immigration and asylum decisions undermine the rule of law
12 April 2018
The Law Society of England and Wales issued a strongly worded statement today warning that failures in the UK immigration and asylum system are undermining the rule of law.
The statement was issued in response to recent government statistics showing that a large number of immigration and asylum decisions that go to appeal in England and Wales are overturned.
Joe Egan, the president of the Law Society, explained: "Almost 50% of UK immigration and asylum appeals are upheld – clear evidence of serious flaws in the way visa and asylum applications are being dealt with.
"Solicitors, charities and the media have long reported huge delays and unreliable decisions in many areas of immigration – from business and worker applications to family, children and asylum cases.
"We know there is good practice in the Home Office and officials who clearly want to make a difference, but each error or delay may – and often does – have a devastating effect on someone's life.
"In the worst cases, adults and even children are forced to wait years for a decision – and while they wait their life is on hold: they cannot plan, may not be allowed to work, travel or access a wide range of state support."
The Law Society also raised concerns over the ever-increasing visa application fees and warned that the costs of appealing mean poorer people may be unable to challenge an incorrect Home Office decision.
Joe Egan said: "These grave problems in our immigration and asylum system undermine the rule of law, while also damaging our country's reputation for justice and fairness.
"We need an immigration and asylum process that is fit for purpose and that makes lawful, timely, consistent decisions.
"Given the three million EU nationals residing in the UK who may soon want certainty about their immigration status, the need for a robust, reliable and efficient immigration system is more pressing than ever."
According to BBC News, the Home Office said appeals are upheld for a variety of reasons, often because new evidence is presented.