JUSTICE is inviting members to apply to join our working party on Immigration and Asylum Determination Reform. The Working Party will look at the determination processes in immigration and asylum cases and how these might be reformed in line with the Government’s Reform Programme.
We are looking for immigration and asylum practitioners, academics, user representatives, retired judges and other experts in the field to serve on the Working Party. You will identify the issues, supply evidence and agree recommendations for reform.
Working Party members are asked to commit to a minimum of three hours each month starting April 2017 and continuing until early 2018 at the latest. We are delighted that Sir Ross Cranston, formerly judge in charge of the Administrative Court has agreed to chair the Working Party.
The draft terms of reference to be agreed by the Working Party members, are set out below.
To apply to be a member of the Working Party, please submit a short CV along with a one-page covering letter outlining your interest, relevant experience and availability to Jean-Benoit Louveaux – firstname.lastname@example.org – by Monday 13 March. Please put ‘Immigration and Asylum Working Party’ in the email subject header. The final decision will be made with a view to achieving an appropriate breadth of skills and experience.
We appreciate that reform of the immigration and asylum determination processes will be an issue of concern to some JUSTICE members who are not minded or in a position to apply for membership of this Working Party. We would very much welcome any initial thoughts you may wish to share (please send via email to Jean-Benoit), and will send out a formal call for evidence later in the year.
Please note that we will be launching other working parties during the course of the year so there will be more opportunities to serve in the near future.
JUSTICE Working Party on Immigration and Asylum Determination Reform
Draft Terms of Reference
The working party will review the existing operation of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First-Tier and Upper Tribunal (IAC) and propose reform so as to guide, inform and assist the judiciary and HMCTS in its implementation of the Government’s Reform Programme.*
In particular, and working in consultation and co-operation with user groups, HMCTS, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the senior judiciary, the working party will:
- review Home Office decision making with a view to getting the decision right without having to go to appeal;
- review how appeals and judicial review proceedings are determined in the IAC and propose how cases might be resolved in a more efficient and fair manner;
- explore which the current issues in the determination of immigration and asylum cases, including judicial reviews in the upper tribunal, might be able to be solved or ameliorated through the government’s Reform Programme; and
- identify the kinds of difficulties that might arise when trying to digitise proceedings in the IAC and propose solutions.
We expect to have a first working party meeting in late April 2017 and report by the end of 2017, or early 2018 at the latest, so as to enable the report’s recommendations to inform government policy. Current plans are for the Reform Programme to be completed in the IAC by 2019.
* For published information on the Government’s Reform Programme, and how it applies to Tribunals, please refer to the following:
- Transforming Our Justice System, September 2016, chapter 6 in particular.
- Transforming Our Justice System: Summary of Reforms and Consultation, September 2016, chapter 5 in particular.
- Transforming Our Justice System: Assisted Digital Strategy, Automatic Online Conviction and Statutory Standard Penalty, and Panel Composition in Tribunals – Government response, paragraphs 5- 15 in particular (on assisted digital)
- The vision outlined by Lord Justice Ryder, Senior President of Tribunals:
> “In the Shadow of Magna Carta”, Washington DC speech, November 2015, paragraphs 21 – 26.
> Tribunals, Winter 2015 article (from page 22).
> 5th Annual Ryder Lecture: the University of Bolton, March 2016.
> Keynote address to the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference 2016