Leonard Cannings' Head of Immigration, Lee Ann Harvey,  today shared her thoughts in relation to the Justice Secretary, Liz Truss' new system for accelerating asylum appeals which she says will save taxpayers an estimated £2.7 m. The latest rules replace the old detained fast-track appeals system brought to an end in 2015, following a Court of Appeal ruling that there needed to be a balance to allow proceedings to be handled quickly and efficiently, to ensure that the Tribunal system is accessible and fair.

Under the new proposals, the time between an initial decision and conclusion of an appeal would be capped at between 25 and 28 working days. Currently, an appeal determination can take anything up to 36 working days.

Lee Ann says the new rules are  grossly unfair; vulnerable applicants in detention will not be awarded the right to a fair trial. She goes on to say that to deal with appeal proceedings within the length of time proposed by the government is unrealistic.  The appeals process is complex and in some cases, there is a need to source expert evidence which sometimes requires prior expenditure approval from the Legal Aid Agency.  Lee Ann indicates that this would be almost impossible to secure within the time frame proposed by the Justice Secretary and the most vulnerable of clients, will not be given the right to a fair trial.




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