Immigration Law Practitioners' Association
Annual Report "… a blizzard of initiatives that attack, among other things, legal aid for access to justice, the application of human rights, rights of appeal and the scope of judicial review as a legal remedy….”
Successes include: Government modifies its proposals for a residence test for legal aid: some babies and children, some survivors of domestic violence, some trafficked persons, some refugees, cases before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and challenges to detention brought back into scope. The long-argued for, long–awaited priority postal service has finally appeared. The European Commission referred the UK to the European Court of Justice because, in breach of EU law, the UK fails to apply the 'habitual residence' test to EU nationals who reside in the UK and claim social security benefits and instead imposes its own “right to reside” test.
Organisation:Nicole Francis joins ILPA as its Director and Alison Harvey moves to the role of Legal Director. We say goodbye to Nirmala Rajasingam as the Refugee Children's Project finished this year and also to Sarah Myerscough, Legal Officer who left in May. Ian Macdonald QC retires as ILPA’s President. Two new publications “Working with migrant children: community care law for immigration lawyers” and “Separated Children and Legal Aid provision”.
Cases and Legislation: Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, came into effect in April 2013. The Crime and Courts and Justice and Security bills pass into law. Immigration Bill before Parliament. Al-Jeddain the Supreme Court on statelessness and deprivation of citizenship. M.AB.N. and K.A.S.Y. v SSHD has gone a long way to putting language analysis reports back in their box. In MF(Nigeria) v SSHD the Home Secretary’s ill-judged attempt to codify a modified version of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights has been rejected. In R(MM &Ors) v SSHD the minimum income requirement was found to be an unlawful interference with the rights to family life of the refugee and British citizen claimants R (Zhang) v SSHD, which concerned the inability of those in the Points-Based System to switch in-country to a Points-Based System dependent category, led to a change in the immigration rules.JB (Jamaica) v SSHD saw the detention of a gay man from Jamaica in the detained fast track declared unlawful because there was no reasonable prospect of deciding hiscase rapidly. Whole system failures were highlighted in L, HVN, THNand T v R which concerned the prosecution of trafficked persons, including those working in cannabis factories.
Challenges include: Immigration bill; legal aid: cuts to scope, new restrictive contracts and proposals to restrict access still further, plus the restrictive approach to exceptional funding; proposals to limit judicial review; focus on creating a hostile environment for migrants; the transfer of judicial review to the Upper Tribunal.
Annual Report "The stifling bureaucracy of all engagement with the Legal Services Commission sometimes dulls the edge of terror at what is happening."
Successes include: Legal aid preserved for persons who have been trafficked and inroads made into the exclusions affecting immigration judicial reviews. ILPA, assisted pro bono by Freshfields, Bruckhaus Deringer, intervenes in the Chancery Division and succeeds in winning a window during which clients of the Immigration Advisory Service in administration can retrieve their archived files from the administrators. ILPA achieves many changes to the detail of new family immigration rules drawing on the experience of practitioners to achieve change for clients.
Organisation: Philip Reilly joints ILPA as its Information Officer to lead a new project to manage ILPA's information and make our rich archive available to members. Nirmala Rajasingam takes over coordination of the Refugee Children's Project. We say goodbye to Steve Symonds who leaves us to pursue his studies. Shahrzad Nouraini joins ILPA to provide maternity cover and starts a handover from Helen Williams. New publications , a new edition of Working with Refugee Children, guidelines for best practice aznd a new edition of Working with Refugee Children, a resources guide.
Cases and Legislation: Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill becomes an Act. Justice and Security, and Crime and Courts, bills are before parliament. JD (Congo), the requirements of the second appeals test; R (Medical Justice) v SSHD, no removal without notice; RT ( Zimbabwe) et ors v SSHD , a human rights-based approach to protection from persecution; NS in the Court of Justice of the European Union, approach to the European Charter of fundamental rights and its effect; HA (Nigeria) and cases following, the Home Office found guily of breaches of Article 3 of the European Convention on human rights for its treatment of the mentally ill in detention.
Challenges include: legal aid; detention including the treatment of the mentally ill in detention, hildren continue to be detained, new test for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, protection for overseas domestic workers gravely reduced, students affected when colleges lose licences to sponsor them.
Successes include: Proposals to remove legal aid from asylum support cases involving applications for accommodation and from persons applying for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of domestic violence scrapped, definiton of asylum in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill rewritten and enlarged. Certificate of Approval for Marriage scheme finally abolished; procedure rules for transfer of judicial reviews to the Upper Tribunal preserve same rights of audience as judicial reviews before the High Court, UK opts into Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.
Organisation:New website, funded by a grant from Unbound Philanthropy, transforming ILPA's communications. Lisa Woodall joins ILPA to run the Refugee Children’s Project,. The project, funded by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, delivers a range of exciting courses and two new publications on Working with Refugee Children, a resources guide and a collection of essays Current issues in Best Practice.
Cases and Legislation: Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill before parliament. MSS v Belgium and Greece (European Court of Human Rights), inhuman and degrading treatment to return persons seeking asylum to Greece, Ruiz Zambrano and Dereci (Court of Justice of the European Union) on citizenship of the Union, ZH (Tanzania) on the best interests of the child; Walumba Lumba and Kambadzi (Supreme Court) on detention; Quila v SSHD (Supreme Court) on age of spouses,
Challenges include: legal aid; children continue to be detained, new test for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, new requirement to be free of criminal convictions at the time of applying for settlement, including for surivors of domestic violence; cap on migration; proposals to remove protection from domestic workers,
Successes include: Procedure rules for new Tribunal made by Procedure Rules Committee not by Home Office; new Government abandons ‘earned citizenship proposals’, lays remedial order to abolish Certificate of Approval for Marriage scheme as incompatible with Human Rights; Government commits to end the detention of children under immigration act powers.
Organisation: ILPA intervenes in CMX litigation concerning the closure of Refugee and Migrant Justice. Project to update ILPA’s website and communications, funded by Unbound Philanthropy, begins. Refugee Children’s Project, funded by the Diana, Princessof Wales Memorial Fund begins.
Cases and Legislation: HJ (Iran) and HT (Cameroon) v SSHD (House of Lords) on asylum cases based on sexual identity; R (Medical Justice) v SSHD (High Court) on removal without notice; Pankina (Court of Appeal) on what must be contained in immigration rules not mere guidance
Challenges include: legal aid; cap on migration; administration of accreditation scheme for those giving immigration advice on legal aid.
Annual Report Silver ILPA!
Successes include: Proposal for wholesale transfer of asylum, immigration and nationality judicial reviews to the Tribunal is defeated; proposals to abolish the Common Travel Area are defeated. A right for British Nationals (Overseas) with no other nationality or citizenship to register as British Citizens; better provisions for registration for children, including stateless children; amendment of definition of trafficking in human beings; new provisions on registration of those born overseas to British mothers before 1983; new rules for those born to parents who were not married at the time of the birth; new statutory duty on UK Border Agency to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Organisation: Publication of ILPA and HJT Compilation of Home Office policies; publication of Notes on consideration of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by the European Court of Human Rights.
Cases and legislation: A v DOH & West Middlesex University Hospital Trust (HL); A v London Borough of Croydon et anor (Supreme Court) on age disputes; Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009
Our challenges include: legal aid; detention, proposals for forced returns of unaccompanied children, foreign prisoners, earned citizenship proposals; removal without notice.
Annual Report ‘…a shocking disregard for the rule of law…’
Our successes include: ILPA persuades government substantially to modify re-entry bans scheme; Susan Rowlands is awarded an OBE for services to human rights for her work as ILPA’s General Secretary; UK ratifies Council of Europe Convention on Trafficking and removes reservation to UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Organisation: Publication of The Detained Fast-Track, a best practice guide, publication of Ministerial Statements on the UK Borders Act 2007 and the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.
Legislation and cases: Metock (ECJ), Baiai (HL); EM (Lebanon); Beoku Betts; Chikwamba; HSMP Forum; RN (Zimbabwe) Draft (partial) Simplification Bill; Criminal Justice and Immigration Act
Challenges include: legal aid; detention; accelerated procedures; sponsor-licensing; loss of appeal rights; earned citizenship proposals; proposals to change criteria for spouses.
Annual Report 'The year has been overshadowed by the introduction of the fixed-fee regime…’
Our successes include: Government persuaded to change its procedure on emergency judicial reviews of removals; substantial changes to form of Points-Based system.
Organisation: Susan Rowlands stands down as General Secretary, Alison Harvey takes over this post; Sophie Barrett-Brown elected Chair of ILPA; publication of When is a child not a child?
Cases and legislation: Huang and Kashmiri (HL); Tum and Dari (ECJ), Borders Immigration and Citizenship Bill.
Challenges include: legal aid; age disputes; fees; good character tests for citizenship.
Annual Report ‘..the Home Office has shown a growing tendency to make administrative changes with little or no notice...This…smacks of government by dictat’
Successes include: preservation of in-country rights of appeal
Legislation and cases: Soe Thet (HL); Saadi v UK (ECHR); UK Borders Bill
Organisation: Steve Symonds takes over the post of Legal Officer. ILPA’s information service for non-lawyers, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, begins.
Challenges include: treatment of foreign national prisoners; changes without warning to the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme; permitted absences; age disputes; civil penalty regime; extension of qualifying period for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Annual Report ‘Expertise and procedures must be developed…to ensure children are not…sent back to an unsafe situation immediately or when they reach 18’
Our organisation: Chris Randall elected Chair of ILPA. New electronic ILPA Firectory of Experts published on the Electronic Immigration Network; first Legal Officer (Alison Harvey) appointed; publication of Child First; Migrant second; ensuring that every child matters’ and of Representation at Immigration Appeals: a best practice guide
Cases and Legislation: Limbuela (HL); Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill; Civil Partnership Act; Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005.
Challenges include: appeal rights; fees; changes to routes for migration for work and study; unaccompanied children; accelerated procedures; fees.
Annual Report ‘Developments during the year have to be seen as part of a larger scale attack on legal aid’.
Successes include: defeat of the ouster clause that would have prevented any judicial review; ‘interim arrangement’ for applications when a person changes employer applications; change to the Accession regulations to protect rights of family members of self-employed persons.
Organisation: 20th anniversary, ILPA looks back on 100 years of immigration law; Working with children and Young people subject to immigration control; guidelines for best practice published; publication of Asylum-Seekers: A guide to recent legislation and of Ministerial Statements on the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act.
Legislation: Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act.
Challenges include; new legal aid contracts; implementation of accreditation of solicitors working in immigration legal aid under the Law Society scheme.
Annual Report ‘..an increasing number of asylum-seekers are behind bars’
Organisation: membership of ILPA opened to those regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner; publication of Challenging immigration detention; a best practice guide; publication of the Best Practice Guide on Asylum Appeal; publication of Ministerial Statements on the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act.
Legislation: Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Bill.
Challenges include: juxtaposed immigration controls e.g in Paris and at Sangatte; detention, legal aid; support for those seeking asylum; appeal rights.
Annual Report ‘... it is difficult to convey the sense of despair that was often felt’ [in working on the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill].
Successes include: rights to register as British citizens for British subjects, British protected persons and British overseas citizens with no other nationality or citizenship; rights of certain child born to overseas to British mothers to register as British citizens.
Organisation: publication of Making an Asylum Application: a best practice guide. ILPA supports the Legal Action Group publication Putting Children First: a guide for immigration practitioners; Asylum Caseworker Training Project continues, and alongside it the London Expansion Project to train legal representatives in asylum cases in London; publication of Borders and Discrimination in the European Union.
Legislation: Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002; British Overseas Territories Act 2002.
Challenges include: non-suspensive appeals; counter-terrorism proposals - including detention; deprivation of nationality; life in the UK tests.
Annual Report “One area in particular is of concern to us: the treatment of third country nationals at the Union’s borders…’
Successes include: influence on European Community Legislative proposals on immigration and asylum.
Organisation: Rick Scannell takes over as chair of ILPA; Kit Eaves, Elizabeth White and Helen Williams join the staff along with Jane Aspden and Jane Savoury of the Asylum Caseworker Training (ACT) project which begins; publication of Ministerial Statements on the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.
Cases and legislation: National Assistance Act case; Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill, Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Bill.
Challenges include: Home Office delays; legal aid; detention especially under counter-terrorism legislation; fees; legal aid.
Annual Report ‘Perhaps by next year ‘economic migrant’ will have become a badge of pride rather than a term of abuse’
Successes include: Regulation of previously unregulated immigration advisors begins; innovator category introduced in the immigration rules, and scope for switching between categories expanded, acknowledgement by government that migration can bring benefits.
Organisation: Publication of The Amsterdam Proposals, scoreboarding project for evaluating European proposals.
Legislation: Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.
Challenges include: legal aid; asylum support (vouchers); European proposals on asylum; changes introduced by 1999 Act; Home Office delays.
Annual Report “With…a computer system which promised the earth and delivered very little…an office move which saw files lost in an underground basement…it has been a gargantuan struggle to extract even the simplest decisions” [describing situation at the Home Office].
Successes include: concessions for victims of domestic violence; seven year child policy, reduction of period of cohabitation for unmarried partners from four years to two; Legal Aid funding for immigration appeals; remuneration for legal aid increased; amelioration of aspects of the Immigration and Asylum Bill; ILPA is awarded the Liberty/Gazette Human Rights Award for its contribution to human rights work.
Organisation: Publication of Ministerial statements made during the passage of the Human Rights Act. Publication of Breaking down the Barriers about Home Office interviews. Publication of the 2nd edition of the guide to the EC Turkey agreement. Intensive work on the Immigration and Asylum Bill.
Legislation: Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
Challenges include: legal aid; Home Office delays and backlogs; position of British Overseas Citizens, loss of deportation appeals.
Annual Report ‘…whether the opportunity for dialogue affords greater prospect for being able to oppose proposed changes remains to be seen.’
Successes include: changing Lord Chancellor’s Department’s views on success rate requirements for judicial review for legal aid funding; contributing to new policy on domestic workers.
Organisation: merger of ILPA the association and ILPA the company; Refugee Women’s Legal Group produces Gender Guidelines, which ILPA disseminates. Work on Amsterdam Treaty begins, publication of Mind the Gap! Research on interviews begins. Work on Immigration and Asylum Bill begins.
Legislation and cases: Human Rights Act 1998; Immigration and Asylum Bill.
Challenges include: legal aid, standards of advice and representation, appeal rights; standing in human rights cases. In cases of British overseas citizens, the inconsistent decision-making between different overseas consular posts.
Annual Report ‘…there is a delicate balance to be drawn between persuasion, cooperation and litigation against the Home Office’
Successes include: abolition of the primary purpose rule; concession for same-sex partners (which ILPA considers too narrow in scope); new Public Enquiry Office System at the Home Office.
Organisation: publication of the Providing Protection report; Andrew Nicol elected Chair; production of handbook on Women as Asylum Seekers, and preparation of guidelines.
Cases and legislation: Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act; Human Rights Bill.
Challenges include: legal aid; standards of advice and representation; appeal rights; social security legislation; rights to representation before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission; effect of requirement that immigrants have no recourse to public funds especially in cases of relationship breakdown; refusals on basis of ‘intention’; British Overseas Citizens; deportation; unaccompanied children.
Annual Report ‘…a significant proportion of the time of the Executive Committee…has been concerned…with concerns at the practices of some immigration lawyers and consultants’
Successes include: first judicial review challenge to mandatory application forms leads to their withdrawal (forms are reintroduced and a second challenge fails); persuade government not to make employer sanctions retrospective and clarifies scope of defence.
Organisation: work begins on the Providing Protection review of the asylum system; conference on ‘safe’ third countries and asylum;; guidelines for ILPA members adopted; establishment of the Refugee Women’s Legal Group, which works closely with ILPA; publication of a guide to EU rights of establishment.
Caselaw and legislation: Chahal European Court of Human Rights; Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, Home Office policies on families etc. DPs 3, 4 and 5/96.
Challenges include: mandatory applications forms and validity of applications; employer sanctions; ILPA’s campaign for regulation of those giving immigration advice; asylum procedure rules; legal aid; deportation; abolition of the common law spouse concession; benefit changes.
Annual Report ‘…there will be no benefits for those who claim asylum after they arrive in theUK’
Organisation: staff complement increased; first ILPA work toward involvement of the Association in litigation.
Cases and legislation: Asylum and Immigration Bill; Social Security (Persons from Abroad) Regulations.
Challenges include: ‘white list’ of ‘safe’ countries of origin of persons seeking asylum; internal immigration controls – an habitual residence test on access to benefits, employer sanctions. Asylum backlog; refusal rates; legal aid; sponsor obligations; ILPA’s campaign for regulation of those giving immigration advice and quality; entry clearance delays in family reunion cases, primary purpose.
Annual Report ‘…in practice…detainees remain detained so long as the administration thinks fit’.
Organisation: work on improving advice to immigration detainees in police custody and problems in the issuing of travel documents; case report digest published; ILPA joins High Court Crown Office Users Committee.
Cases and legislation: Immigration Rules HC 395 published.
Challenges include: new immigration rules; detention, including hunger strike at Campsfield House; advice and assistance to detainees; family reunion; EU Border Control; operation of legal aid; same sex partners.
Annual Report ‘…we consider it part of our responsibility as lawyers to fight for our clients’ rights in the abstract as well as in the particular.’
Successes include: influencing content of European Commission communication on immigration and asylum.
Organisation: Nicholas Blake QC elected Chair; nearly 500 members; Directory of Experts, Comparative Report on asylum procedures and appeal rights, and three other reports published, including one on gender and the refugee convention. ILPA comments on new draft immigration rules.
Cases and legislation: R v SS Environment ex p Tower Hamlets LBC (CA); Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993.
Challenges include: Home Office delays; unaccompanied children seeking asylum; racial harassment; extension of immigration control to mechanisms outside the immigration service.
Annual Report ‘The debate on asylum and immigration is in danger of polluting our concept of humanity’
Successes include: proposal to franchise immigration advice under the legal aid green form scheme replaces proposals for abolition of this legal aid.
Organisation: Larry Grant elected Chair; 450 members; work begins on a Directory of Experts and a report on legal assistance for people seeking asylum in the EC, supported by external funding; and on a report on procedure and appeals; report on caselaw of the European Court of Human Rights and Application of the European Court of Justice of Human Rights obligations. ILPA is represented on the Tribunal Users’ Group. Best practice guide to the preparation of asylum applications launched.
Cases and legislation: Surinder Singh ECJ; Asylum and Immigration Appeals Bill.
Challenges include: asylum: manifestly unfounded procedures. Limitations on housing for people seeking asylum, fingerprinting, visitors’ and students’ appeal rights, unaccompanied refugee children.
Annual Report ‘…the Lord Chancellor announced that immigration would be removed from the scope of the green form legal aid scheme (pink form in Scotland)’
Organisation: demonstration, outside the Royal Courts of Justice about legal aid; ILPA joins the European Council on Refugees and Exiles. Summaries of all high court cases involving refugees collated. Project on comparative EU immigration. Training session with Department of Employment.
Cases and legislation: Moustaquim v Belgium (ECJ), Asylum Bill.
Challenges include: Asylum Bill and compatibility with the Refugee Convention; refugees; appeal rights; legal aid; primary purpose; detention on grounds of national security; position of domestic workers.
Annual Report ‘…unnecessary, ill-conceived, poorly drafted, wrong in principle and arbitrary in its application…’ [returning resident’s rule whereby settled persons who spend more than two years out of the UK face denial of readmission]
Organisation: subcommittees cover Refugees and Political Asylum, Business and Employment, Family Reunion, Deportation and Illegal Entry, European Community; ILPA finds cases to follow Surinder Singh, on British nationals acquisition of free movement rights, to the European Court of Justice.
Cases and legislation: Alexander, Oladehinde (House of LordsL); British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990.
Challenges include: returning residents; primary purpose rule; new Dublin Convention on European State responsible for examining an asylum claim; appeal rights for people seeking asylum; Vietnamese people seeking asylum in Hong Kong; new visa requirements; access to decisions of the Tribunal; discrimination in family cases.
Annual Report ‘Members will recall revelations in the press that the Home Office appeared to be seeking to influence the Immigration Appeal Tribunal…”
Successes include: The Immigration Appeal Tribunal moves from Home Office to Lord Chancellor’s department; Legal Aid Board withdraws flawed proposals on legal aid Green Form scheme; influence on new immigration rules in respect of discrimination against women in economic migration categories (but concerns at much of the rest of the new rules).
Organisation: ILPA incorporated as a company.
Cases: Soering (European Court of Human Rrights).
Challenges include: detention; short-term permits for workers with no possibility of extension; lack of appeal rights against deportation; primary purpose rule.
Annual Report ‘The fear of ‘large scale abuse of the asylum process’ remains the guiding factor in respect of Home Office policy in this area’
Successes include: certain over-18s allowed to reapply for entry, relying on new DNA evidence to prove relationships previously doubted.
Organisation: Alper Riza elected Chair.
Legislation: Immigration Act 1988.
Challenges include: provisions of the Immigration Act 1988 including ‘primary purpose rule’ whereby spouses must prove immigration was not the primary purpose of the marriage; removal of rights of appeal against deportation; lack of appeals for most asylum applicants; ‘safe’ third country procedures.
Annual Report ‘Some would argue too much court time is taken up by immigration.’
Successes include: Government acknowledgement of need to amend the law to reflect European Community free movement rights; persuading Department of Employment Overseas Labour Department to set up special casework department for business and sole representatives.
Organisation: ILPA coordinates a network of organisations working to influence the Immigration Bill.
Cases and legislation: Bugdaycay and Sivakumaran in the House of Lords; Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act; Immigration Bill.
Challenges include: immigration controls on British nationals; appeal rights; deportation, representation for people seeking asylum; proposals to identify some asylum claims as ‘manifestly unfounded’; carriers’ liability.
Annual Report ‘…we were able to hire our president administrator, Susan Rowlands, who we dearly hope will stay with us longer…’
Organisation: Philip Trott elected Chair. Inaugural meeting of ILPA North. Bulletin transfers to Frank Cass publishers; Susan Rowlands employed as General Secretary, a post she was to hold until 2007. Nearly 300 members.
Cases: Haque et ors (High Court)
Challenges include: access to legal aid; fees for entry clearance.
Annual Report ‘The infamous Clause 43 restricted rights of appeal …’
Successes include: preservation of appeal rights through work on Administration of Justice Bill.
Organisation: Andrew Nicol elected chair. First staff member, Teresa Perchard, employed; regular bulletin established.
Cases and legislation: Momotaj Begum (IAT); Administration of Justice Act.
Challenges include: fees for entry clearance; government policy toward migrants from the Indian subcontinent; how to publicise unpublished government policies and concessions.
Annual Report ‘The Home Office has retreated from the position…that they were prepared to publish parts of secret instructions’
Organisation: Inaugural meeting, first Annual General Meeting and the first Executive Committee elected, with Ian MacDonald QC as President and Larry Grant as Chair. A written constitution. Subcommittees, training and panel discussions established. Meetings held with Home Office officials, first parliamentary briefings. Over 100 members.
Cases: Khawaja (Court of Appeal).
Challenges include: refusals of legal aid funding (Green form extensions) in immigration cases; Home Office secret instructions.