Appeal clampdown ‘might be illegal’

Politicians have warned that proposals to create a single tier of
appeal for asylum seekers might breach the Human Rights Act

Under the Asylum and Immigration Bill now going through parliament,
asylum seekers would be allowed only a single appeal to a new
asylum and immigration tribunal, which would be beyond the scrutiny
of the law courts.

The claimants would have no right to seek a judicial review and no
right to go to the Court of Appeal.

In a report on the bill’s proposals, the parliamentary joint
committee on human rights warns: “There is real danger that this
would violate the rule of law in breach of international law, the
Human Rights Act 1998 and the fundamental principles of our common

The report also calls for more money to be spent on the new
tribunal than currently goes to the immigration appeal tribunal as
it would have a heavier workload.

It says that, without this, the new tribunal is “unlikely” to be
able to deal with cases in a reasonable time, reliably and
efficiently in line with people’s rights under the Convention of
Human Rights.

The government defended its proposals for a single tier of appeal
for asylum seekers last week, arguing that it was required to stop
bogus claimants stretching out the system.

David Lammy MP told an evidence session to the House of Commons
constitutional affairs committee on asylum and immigration appeals
earlier this month that the proposals would shorten appeal cases to
about 18 weeks.

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