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Duncan Lewis Solicitors provided pro bono advice to Sudanese asylum seekers at the Waging Peace Legal Surgery in Bradford (16 August 2019)

Date: 16/08/2019
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Duncan Lewis Solicitors provided pro bono advice to Sudanese asylum seekers at the Waging Peace Legal Surgery in Bradford

Continuing on from last year’s success, Duncan Lewis’ Public Law teams at Birmingham and Harrow collaborated with Waging Peace to organise a legal surgery for members of the Sudanese community in Bradford on 12th July 2019.

Waging Peace, an NGO, campaigns against genocide and systematic human rights violations in Sudan. Here in the UK, the organisation supports members of the Sudanese community in accessing vital services to assist and enable their integration into British society. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with Waging Peace to provide free legal advice to those in the community seeking asylum in the UK.

Birmingham-based, public law solicitor Darren Middleton and caseworkers Amrit Singh and Zahra Lakha were joined by the Harrow team’s trainee solicitor Isabella Kirwan, and caseworker Frankie Boon. Together the team assisted a number of young Sudanese men by provide individual legal advice.

The clinic started at 11am and ran until 6pm. The day began with a congregation of attendants hearing first-hand, general legal advice applicable to all asylum seekers. This advice covered the best ways to handle their cases in respect to their witness statements and the need to disclose important information that could be relevant to their claims.

Our lawyers then provided 30 minutes of advice to individuals on their particular circumstances, catering for their individual issues and needs. The asylum seekers were all at different stages of the asylum process and each presented specific and individual issues to their claims.

Zahra Lakha, who took part in the surgery, commented on the common problems felt by asylum seekers with little awareness of the asylum process and little or no ability to communicate in English.

“In particular, individuals had little or no awareness of the constituent elements of an Article 8 claim and it was disparaging to realise that previous or current legal representatives had not developed the individual’s case in relation to their particular vulnerabilities. The look of hope emerging on the faces of the troubled Sudanese young men after advising on the potential grounds for remaining in the UK, was both gratifying and heart-warming.”

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Zuhair Basher, a community support member present at the event, commented;

“Big thanks to [the] Waging Peace team and to Duncan Lewis team for the brilliant work. The feedback is a very strong evidence for the usefulness and the success of the clinic.”

We are proud to have contributed our services to this vitally important legal clinic that has allowed us to assist so many in need of legal advice. We thank all the participants at the event and the community supporters who helped to interpret for us, and a particular thank you to Waging Peace for providing us with this opportunity to reach out to the community. We look forward to future collaborations and unity between legal representatives and community projects to help the most vulnerable in our communities.

At Duncan Lewis, we have an established Pro Bono Committee, which enables us to extend our reach to various pro bono projects across England and Wales, and overseas.

Duncan Lewis Public Law Solicitors

The Duncan Lewis Public Law department continues to be recommended by The Legal 500 with the 2019 edition reporting its 'strong presence in this area of the law, making a particularly dominant contribution in immigration, asylum and prison law.'

The Public law team has experience in all aspects of judicial review claimant work, including obtaining emergency orders and other interim relief to prevent breaches of human rights, following up judicial reviews with actions for damages in both the County and High Court and successfully pursuing judicial review matters to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. A particular focus is the team’s work handling cases of the deprivation of British citizenship and deportation threats, with a niche specialism in challenging the treatment of immigration detainees and other marginalised communities.

To contact a member of the public law team, call 033 3772 0409.

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