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New fast-track system to speed up immigration and asylum appeals (19 April 2017)

Date: 19/04/2017
Duncan Lewis, Business Immigration Solicitors, New fast-track system to speed up immigration and asylum appeals

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced that a new fast-track system to speed up immigration and asylum appeals for those in detention has been drawn up, which Ministers say will save millions of pounds every year.

The government set out plans for a new process for detained foreign nationals appealing a Home Office decision to remove them from the country, which – if the new rules are accepted – would apply to detained foreign criminals and failed asylum seekers.

The proposals could speed up around 2,000 cases every year and save the taxpayer an estimated £2.7million.

The proposals would mean the time between an initial decision and conclusion of an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal would be capped at between 25 and 28 working days – cutting around one-third off current average timeframes. The current average for an appeal determination is around 36 working days.

Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

“It is vital that foreign nationals who have no right to remain in the country should be removed as quickly as possible.

“We must ensure that foreign criminals and failed asylum seekers are not exploiting the justice system by attempting to stay in the UK after their claims have been rejected.

“Our proposals are also better for detainees, as it will see their detention time cut.”

The new plans would replace the old, detained, fast-track appeals system, which was brought to an end in 2015 after a Court of Appeal ruling – but the Court did not disagree with the principle of an expedited appeals process.

Proposals set out on Tuesday (18/04/17) by the MoJ would include new safeguards – including a case management review. Judges would also be given strengthened powers to decide whether cases can be expedited.

It is now for the independent Tribunal Procedure Committee (TPC), which sets rules for tribunals, to consider whether and how the proposals should be implemented.

The plans were published following a consultation. The government proposals have taken the Court of Appeal’s judgment on board.

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