Government climbs down in asylum appeals dispute

The government performed a u-turn when ministers dropped plans
to remove the right of asylum seekers to challenge asylum decisions
in the courts, writes Amy Taylor.

The government changed its plans after learning former lord
chancellor Lord Irvine was due to criticise the measure in the
second reading of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of
Claimants etc) Bill in the House of Lords.

Lord Falconer, the current lord chancellor, said the government
would replace the plans with a new system allowing asylum seekers
to appeal to the courts. He admitted that his decision was
influenced by Lord Irvine.

A spokesperson for the Department of Constitutional Affairs said
that no details of the new system were available.

The proposals to create a single tier of appeal for asylum
seekers outside the scrutiny of the courts had attracted strong
criticism from the judiciary.

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