The Bach Report: (11) Immigration law

This is the ninth in the new series of blogs which will start with relevant extracts from the Bach  Commission’s Final Report. These will be followed by  the more detailed treatment I gave to the topic  in one of the chapters in Appendix 5 to the Report

I wrote the papers in this Appendix because I was keen not to lose the opportunity to provide in-depth treatment of important issues for which there would clearly be no room in the report itself.

 

1.EXTRACT FROM THE REPORT

Immigration law

Immigration accounted for only a very small portion of legal aid expenditure before LASPO.  In 2014 a report by The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of the Law showed that Scotland and – especially – England and Wales spent less on legal aid for immigration problems than most comparable countries.[1]  In 2012-2013, the year before LASPO took effect, England and Wales spent 2 per cent of its legal aid budget on such work, whereas Belgium spent 17 per cent and the Netherlands 13 per cent.[2]

LASPO greatly reduced the scope of legal aid in relation to immigration law. Areas outside the scope of support include all EU cases, post-conviction deportation cases, cases relying on article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the right to private and family life’) and cases in which applicants raise mental health or mental incapacity issues.  In such cases, there is now no help available for paying disbursements, including for translators, court fees and expertise. Often those affected will be living on subsistence support, without access to benefits or the right to work, and will not have any money with which to pay for advice, representation and expenses. The immigration team at Garden Court Chambers told the commission that:

It is our considered view that the important fundamental right of access to justice – a right our constitutional and justice system has long rendered to all persons in the UK – is no longer available to or effective for migrants, asylum seekers and their families.”

The commission has considered the evidence, in particular the evidence of immigration solicitor Jawaid Luqmani, and recommends a full investigation into which areas of immigration law should be within the scope of legal aid funded representation. This should be conducted with recognition of the importance of translation services, and should include reviewing the fees that clients in immigration cases are charged. In the short term, we recommend that cases involving stateless persons and cases involving family reunion in which vulnerability is involved are brought back into scope.[3]

 

2. Appendix 5

Chapter Four: Immigration Law

The accreditation scheme

The Commission received evidence from Jawaid Luqmani, an experienced immigration lawyer who acted as Chief Assessor of the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme between January 2010 and February 2013. Firms undertaking work in the immigration field who wish to receive remuneration from the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) must be accredited.

There are three levels of accreditation,[4] “advanced” (Level 3) being the level considered to reflect the highest level of competence. It is not currently a requirement of the LAA for every firm practising in this field to have an individual accredited to that level, but it is necessary to be accredited to at least senior casework level (Level 2) in order to ensure that there are adequate supervision mechanisms in place. There is a separate examination to assess an individual’s fitness to supervise and if a firm does not have a supervisor it may experience difficulties in claiming funds for any legal aid work. The existence of the arrangements for supervision and accreditation were introduced in 2004 by the office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) long before LASPO, and were aimed at ensuring that only value for money services were being purchased by the Legal Aid Agency (and its predecessor), in the belief that this new system would eliminate poor practice.

Mr Luqmani told the Commission that in his opinion an accreditation scheme run by the Law Society is now required. He said that the Law Society’s existing accreditation scheme is good, but it could be moved to a near-universal system instead. Some bad “unaccredited” firms even pride themselves on their “independence” from government, and although the situation is not as bad as it once was, the continued presence of unaccredited organisations who often give bad advice for a lot of money in an underhand manner is a “menace to the market”.

 

The effect of LASPO in immigration cases

Legal aid is now only available for:

Asylum cases – defined as cases involving the right to enter and remain arising from the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (The Geneva Convention) and Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (The ECHR); Council Directive 2001/55/EC 20.7.2001 (The Temporary Protection Directive) and Council Directive 2004/83/EC (The Qualification Directive);

Applications by a victim of trafficking for leave to enter or remain where there has been a positive conclusive decision concerning their status under the Trafficking Convention;

Applications for indefinite leave to remain under the domestic violence immigration rules, and for residence permits on the grounds of a retained right of residence arising from domestic violence;

Immigration detention (including bail applications and matters relating to temporary admission and release on restrictions). and

Asylum support where accommodation is sought – but not for representation before the First Tier Tribunal (Asylum Support).

In general, judicial review remains “in scope” for legal aid in immigration cases (whether asylum or non-asylum), although there are specific exclusions, as where ‘the same issue or substantially the same issue was the subject of previous judicial review or an appeal to a court or tribunal”, the application was refused and this occurred less than a year before the current legal aid application.

All cases before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) remain in scope. These are usually covered under licensed work.[5]

The ‘out of scope’ work under LASPO includes anything that is not specifically identified as covered by legal aid. This ‘out of scope’ work includes:

EU cases;

Post-conviction deportation cases;

Cases in which ECHR Article 8 is called in aid;

Applicants who raise mental health or incapacity issues (other than on ECHR Article 3 grounds).

Entry Clearance applications and appeals – for example, for family members (including family reunion for the family members of recognised refugees).

Appeals in the excluded cases listed above, including appeals to the higher courts, such as the Court of Appeal and the UK Supreme Court.

Any matters not specified as being in scope under LASPO do not qualify for legal aid, and an application would have to be made for ‘Exceptional Case Funding’ (ECF).[6]

In June 2017, the LAA published statistics which showed that in non-asylum cases expenditure on legal help in immigration cases was cut by nearly £22 million from the 2009-10 baseline.[7]

Although the Ministry of Justice did not anticipate that any immigration cases would qualify for Exceptional Case Funding, the effect of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Gudanaviciene[8] was to enable grants of ECF funding to be made in 688 cases in 2016-7, as the following table shows:

Year Applications Grants Success Rate
2013-14 234 4 2%
2014-15 334 57 17%
2015-16 493 57 67%
2016-17 1007 688 68%

The number of grants of legal help and controlled legal representation in non-asylum immigration cases has been reduced from the pre-LASPO level of 23,526 to 3,672 in 2016-17 in accordance with the government’s intentions.  The fact that the increased availability of ECF legal help in immigration cases has made so little difference to the overall statistics may be attributed to three main causes:

A continuing perception, notwithstanding recent statistics, that the probability of success in an ECF application is far lower than the probability of failure;

The unwillingness (or inability) of immigration lawyers to spend their time making ECF applications for which they receive no payment unless the application succeeds;

The fact that the overall number of firms who hold a contract with the LAA for immigration work has decreased from the pre-LASPO level of 235 to 170, and it is likely that many of those firms that have survived do not make ECF applications for their clients.[9] Mr Luqmani told the Commission that although there are still a number of large firms operating under legal aid contracts in this field. The pressure on billing and the low rates of remuneration may mean that corners are being cut, with more experienced fee-earners being encouraged to do a higher proportion of non-legally aided cases.

 

The Law Society told the Commission that, contrary to tabloid myth, immigration cases were not a significant factor in our relatively high legal aid expenditure pre-LASPO. A report by the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of the Law in 2014 showed that the proportion of the legal aid budget spent on these cases was now highest in Belgium (17%) and the Netherlands (13%), and lower in Ireland (7%), Scotland (3.1%) and England & Wales (2%). The average costs per case were in the range of €1,000 per case in all countries, with England & Wales being at the low end.[10]

The biggest impact of LASPO on those seeking advice in immigration or asylum law matters that are out of scope is the unavailability of advice for vulnerable clients who do not meet the new criteria. They must fund their advice themselves, and this is not possible for many of them. As a consequence, they either have to represent themselves in a very complex area of law that is constantly changing or they stay in this country without regularising their status. This in turns slows down the judicial process.

Some of those who do not address their immigration status will be assisted by local authorities if they have children or are very vulnerable,[11] which is a cost to the local authority. There is also the human cost where no advice is available. The very vulnerable can be open to exploitation or remain separated from other family members even where some of them will be British citizens.

The complexity of immigration law

The specialist immigration team at Garden Court Chambers told the Commission:

Immigration law is voluminous, complex and unintelligible to all but working specialists. This helps no-one. The Chambers’ text Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice – generally seen as the leading text on the subject – has grown from a single-volume to a two-volume work. The commentary (volume 1) and legislative instruments (volume 2) texts are each over 2,000 pages in length and as the preface to each recent edition has made clear, the text is “out-of-date” and therefore inaccurate in certain respects generally within weeks of publication.

Five quite different dependable sources bear witness to the complexity of the statutory and rule-based immigration appeals scheme:

The Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (now abolished) considered immigration law and practice to be an area of “extraordinary complexity”;In November 2011,

Lord Justice Jackson said of the law that related to people liable to removal

:“…this area of immigration law has now become an impenetrable jungle of intertwined statutory provisions and judicial decisions…”[12]

In the Immigration Services Commissioner’s scheme to regulate immigration advice and services work on certain types of case – family reunion, removals and deportation, illegal entrants and overstayers, ECHR Article 8 applications and the lodgement of notices of appeal and applications outside the rules – are all treated as too complex to be performed by those who have only attained competence at Level 1 of the scheme. Very few not-for-profit advice agencies have attained competence beyond Level 1. This accentuates the difficulty of accessing dependable qualified advice.

The UK Visas and Immigration website section on “Staff guidance, instructions and country information” contains 14 distinct sets of policy guidance, many descending to very detail, and often subjected to revision and restructure.

The Immigration Rules are frequently changed – 33 times between January 2012 and April 2016.

The laws and the rules do not only prescribe the criteria for entry and stay. They also set strict procedural requirements. Applicants are obliged to submit the correct application form, to complete all the necessary parts of the form and to provide prescribed evidence through the medium of prescribed documentation. If they fail to comply with these procedural requirements, their application can be returned as invalid, and in many such cases they will lose their legal status and with this the rights they previously enjoyed to take employment, to rent accommodation, to drive their cars or to have access to medical services. These provisions affect lawful foreign residents who may lose their rights due to the vagaries of the application and appeal process, as well as long term overstayers or illegal entrants who have never held such rights.

This extract from the judgment of Lord Justice Maurice Kay in Kaczmarek v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions[13] encapsulates the unsurmountable barriers confronting those who try to steer their way through this statutory and regulatory morass without skilled assistance:

I do not propose to dwell on this in view of the common ground that, under it, the appellant was not entitled to income support at the material time. The provisions are labyrinthine but, to cut a convoluted story short, she was a “person from abroad” pursuant to paragraph 17 of Schedule 7 to the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987 and, although her presence in this country was lawful – unless and until removal pursuant to regulation 21(3) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000 – she did not enjoy the right to reside here at the material time because she was not a “qualified person” as defined by regulation 5 of the 2000 Regulations. To be qualified, she would have had to be, for example, a worker, a self-employed person, a self-sufficient person or a student at the material time and she was not. In short, her lack of a right to reside (which is not the same as lawful presence) disqualified her from access to income support. Essentially, domestic legislation confined qualification to EEA nationals who are economically or educationally active or otherwise self-sufficient. Those who do not qualify are able to remain here lawfully but subject to removal. A more comprehensive tour of the labyrinth can be found in Abdirahman.[14]

We summarise the situation like this. In practice applicants are obliged to seek legal advice and assistance in the application and appeals processes by reason of complexity of the governing law, the array of legislation, rules and policies, the lengthy, detailed and often ambiguous application forms, and the sometimes dire consequences of procedural slip-ups While skilled immigration lawyers are there to advise in many of the points-based cases, legal aid restrictions have limited the legal advice available to those who cannot afford to pay.

The effect of Article 8 ECHR

The Commission received the following valuable evidence on this topic from the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.

Immigration cases are cases where the individual faces intervention from the State or seeks to hold the State to account. The Home Office has very extensive powers: for example, to refuse entry or to remove forcibly – not to mention its powers of entry, search and detention. Immigration cases concern, inter alia:

whether people are allowed to join[15] or remain with[16] their spouses, partners, children and parents;

whether people will have to leave the UK where they have lived for years, sometimes for decades often because of someone else’s decision[17], for example that of a parent or former spouse or partner, including cases in which they will be leaving close family members (who may be British) behind;

whether a person who has fled domestic slavery can live safely in the UK away from those who abused them; what happens to a person (including a child) when a relationship breaks down, including breakdowns that result from domestic violence;

what happens to children whose claims for asylum have failed and who cannot be returned to their country of origin because their safety and welfare cannot be guaranteed;

what happens to young people who as children have been allowed to remain in the UK, sometimes for many years, when they turn 18;

whether a person should be deported from the UK following conviction despite having served their sentence and in some cases having been settled over many years[18];

what happens to people who thought they were in the UK lawfully and turn out not to be, and to people who cannot prove their immigration status whether a person has a claim to British citizenship.

The crux of the test for cases under ECHR Article 8 is whether the proposed interference with the right to private and family life is reasonable and proportionate. Thorough-going knowledge of the established and developing principles in domestic and European jurisprudence is essential to do justice to these cases. Those affected include people unfamiliar with UK laws and procedures, many with very limited or no support networks in the UK, with little or no understanding of what would constitute a correct application of the law, or a correct procedure. In many cases English will not be the litigant’s first language. These difficulties for applicants, in the absence of advice from a qualified specialist, are compounded by the Home Office’s regularly producing decisions which are wrong and many of which are inconsistent with the decided case law.[19]

Home Office ministers have almost always expressed an antipathy to the idea that ECHR Article 8 rights should play any significant part in the administration of immigration policy. If their department it had been adequately equipped with the resources to enable it to implement ministerial policies in this field with any semblance of consistent efficiency then the courts would not have been faced with a plethora of cases involving applicants (and their families) against whom the Home Office has at long last decided to initiate deportation procedures many, many months, often years, after they became illegal overstayers or have been released from prison following a conviction.

Current concerns about the state of access to justice in immigration cases

The immigration team at Garden Court Chambers articulated a commonly held opinion when they told the Commission that in their view there were now some clear and increasingly insurmountable barriers that limited the access to justice which migrants and their families enjoyed in their quest to attaining lawful status. These included:

 

The practical effect of withdrawing cases from scope

The loss of legal aid encompasses a loss of assistance with fees for disbursements, including translators, court fees and expert reports. This means that even when pro bono assistance is available, a case often cannot proceed because the cost of disbursements cannot be met.   Court and tribunal fees, as well as Home Office fees, must be paid for, and these fees can be very significant.  When the Commission received evidence last year, the Ministry of Justice was consulting on raising fees for an appeal before the First-Tier Tribunal from £140 to £800, with a further £455 to be paid to appeal against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal to the Upper Tribunal.   Home Office fees cost between £1,195 and £2,676 for a settlement (indefinite leave to remain) application.[21] People who have no permission to work, no access to benefits and who are surviving on subsistence support have no money with which to pay for representation.[22]

Through a series of Freedom of Information requests which formed part of the research for their Cut Off from Justice report[23] the Children’s Society ascertained that during the two years since the legal aid cuts came into effect in April 2013 there had been at least a 30% reduction in regulated immigration advice services[24] across the country and a decrease of almost 50% in the number of regulated non-fee-charging services to deal with appeals and representation in court.[25]

The FOIs also highlighted huge discrepancies between the numbers of regulated advice providers across the different UK regions, with the highest numbers in Scotland, London and the South East. The distribution of providers also showed some areas where there were very limited services available: for example, in the East of England there were no OISC regulated non-fee charging service providers qualified to deal with appeals and representation (Level 3 OISC). There was only one such provider in the East Midlands, in the North East and in Northern Ireland.[26] These figures show that even those who remain eligible for legal aid following LASPO – children seeking refugee protection and recognised victims of human trafficking, for instance – face difficulties accessing regulated service providers in their area, or may experience delays in obtaining advice and representation because such providers as exist are over-subscribed.

At the same time, there has been a growth in the number of rogue immigration advisers, despite the best efforts of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. These people provide shoddy or partial services and in some cases defraud their clients, putting their very status in the UK at risk. Law Centres have been seeing more clients who come to them for help following a sub-optimal experience with an unqualified adviser.[27]

Criticisms of the Legal Aid Agency

As in so many other fields of law, the very bureaucratic processes on which the LAA insists came in for sustained criticism. For example:

Completing forms takes a significant amount of legal representatives’ time and is frustrating, soul-destroying work. Much of this work appears to be entirely futile. When the Legal Aid Agency is asked to interrogate the data it collects, for example by the Civil Contracts Consultative Group, it proves unable to do so.

Home Office shortcomings create avoidable expense

The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association told the Commission that apart from having to turn people away because they did not have the capacity to represent them, their biggest frustration stemmed from failures by representatives of the Home Office to follow precedent or to manage cases effectively. All too often, winning one test case was insufficient: it was necessary to fight again and again for clients with identical material facts.   Similarly, in order to get a case stayed so as to await the judgment in a pending lead case it was all too often necessary to make an application to the Administrative Court, rather than being able to agree that no further action should be taken on the case until the lead case was decided.   This approach drives up legal aid and court expenditure, as does a practice of the Home Office to appeal its defeats before the First-tier Tribunal almost as a matter of routine, regardless of merit and despite criticism by the Tribunal.[28]

The Home Office’s conduct of litigation can also create challenges with which an unrepresented appellant is ill-equipped to deal. Its behaviour as decision maker and litigant has sometimes driven judges to despair:

The history fills me with such despair at the manner in which the system operates that the preservation of my equanimity probably demands that I should ignore it, but I steel myself to give a summary at least… What, one wonders, do they do with their time? …I ask, rhetorically, is this the way to run a whelk store?[29]

The Home Office continues to miss opportunities for early settlement of claims by its failure to provide instructions to its own lawyers so as to enable them to keep to deadlines for acknowledgment of service.[30]

The Commission was also told that Home Office representatives frequently arrive at a hearing with few or no papers. Even the contents of a decision can be changed at the last minute on the day of a hearing or during the course of the hearing. For example, it is not uncommon for a decision set out in a “reasons for refusal letter” which accepts certain points to be withdrawn without any notice. New evidence is often served on the day of the hearing. These practices can lead to the delays and additional expense that are associated with an adjournment if justice is to be served. This adds to the overall expense.

It was also said to be the case that all too often the decision letter itself contains incorrect statements of the law or provides limited or incorrect information on rights of appeal.[31]

One judicial citation can be taken as representative of widespread dissatisfaction with the parlous condition of immigration law and practice:

It is unfortunate that this court has now construed Rule 322(1A) to mean the opposite of what, at least on one view, it appears, on its face, to say…

I am left perplexed and concerned how any individual whom the Rules affect (especially perhaps a student, like Mr A, who is seeking a variation of his leave to remain in the United Kingdom) can discover what the policy of the Secretary of State actually is at any particular time if it necessitates a trawl through Hansard or formal Home Office correspondence as well as through the comparatively complex Rules themselves. It seems that it is only with expensive legal assistance, funded by the taxpayer, that justice can be done. [32]

The impact of cuts on separated migrant children

While many lone children with immigration claims will already have a right to remain and will need legal advice or representation to help them with their applications for indefinite leave to remain or for citizenship, other children, who are undocumented, will need legal advice if they are to regularise their status. Research published in April 2016 estimates that there are approximately 144,000 undocumented children living in England and Wales, with most of these children being located in London and the West Midlands.[33] Many of the others will have grown up here and spent their formative years in the UK. However, their uncertain status means that they have not yet established a legal right to remain in the country, even though they may have legitimate reasons for needing to remain and their long-term future may be in this country. As the Government’s agenda to create a ‘hostile environment’ for irregular or undocumented migrants by limiting access to services such as private rented accommodation, bank accounts and public funds, on the basis of status, the immediate welfare needs as well as the life chances of undocumented children increasingly depend on their ability to regularise their status quickly. Without status, they are increasingly left at risk of destitution, exploitation and social exclusion.

Separated migrant children no longer qualify for legal aid for advice or representation in their non-asylum immigration claims.[34] In 2015 a report published by The Children’s Society[35] found that without legal aid children’s claims were being avoided, or ‘sat on’, and remained unresolved. This often leads to a transitional crisis for the child as they turn 18 when their immigration status comes to bear more heavily on their access to services, such as housing, education and employment. Where children try to resolve their immigration issues on their own, for example as they approach adulthood or where they are not in local authority care, they are forced to become ‘mini solicitors’, struggling to prepare witness statements and to gather evidence about their past. This leaves them stressed, fearful and unable to participate properly in their education. Some young people told the researchers they had had to raise thousands of pounds to pay for legal advice themselves. The study showed how some children are being exploited or put at risk of serious harm[36] because they are desperate to resolve their immigration issues.

 

 

 

 

[1] See the Submission of the Law Society to the Labour Party Review of Legal Aid, February 2016. appendix 1, para 24. Accessed September 2017: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/policy-campaigns/consultation-responses/submission-to-the-labour-party-review-of-legal-aid/

[2] Maurits Barendrecht et al, Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of the Law (HiiL). (2014) Legal Aid in Europe: Nine Different Ways to Guarantee Access to Justice? p. 68. Accessed September 2017: http://www.hiil.org/data/sitemanagement/media/Report_legal_aid_in_Europe.pdf

[3] See the oral evidence of Jawaid Luqmani, appendix 4, at p. 31.

[4] Level 1: basic immigration advice within the Immigration Rules. Level 2: more complex casework, including applications outside the Immigration Rules. Level 3: appeals.

[5] This means the grant of a legal aid certificate as opposed to controlled legal representation.

[6] The MoJ did not originally believe that any immigration cases would qualify for ECF support, because it believed, wrongly that ECHR law would not require state-funded help to be provided in any case in which the applicant/appellant was relying on ECHR Article 8. See Annex A to the June 2011 Impact Assessment for the LASPO Bill, Table 3.

[7] Legal Aid Agency. (2017) Legal aid statistics: January to March 2017, Table 5.3. See fn 2 above. Table 6.5 shows that there was also a reduction of about £1.5 million in expenditure on civil representation in immigration cases, but no breakdown is given as between asylum cases (which remained in scope) and non-asylum cases (which did not).

[8] R (Gunanaviciene) v Director of Legal Aid Casework [2014] EWCA Civ 1622 See fn 17 above.

[9]Legal Aid Agency. (2017) Legal aid statistics: January to March 2017, Table 9.1. see fn 2 above.The numbers decreased sharply from 257 in 2014-15 to 170 in 2016-17.

[10] Legal Aid in Europe: Nine Different Ways to Guarantee Access to Justice? Maurits Barendrecht et al, Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of the Law (HiiL), 21st February 2014, page 73. Accessed September 2017: http://www.hiil.org/data/sitemanagement/media/Hiil%20Legal%20Aid%20in%20Europe%20Nine%20Different%20Ways%20to%20Guarantee%20Access%20to%20Justice.pdf

[11] For instance, those with mental health issues.

[12] Sapkota [2011] EWCA Civ 1320. Accessed September 2017: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2011/1320.html     This is just one of many judicial criticisms of the complexity of immigration law and procedure.

[13] [2008] EWCA Civ 1310. Accessed September 2017: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2008/1310.html

[14]  [2007] EWCA Civ 657. Accessed September 2017: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2007/657.html

[15] Entry clearance cases.

[16] Removal and deportation cases.

[17] Removal and deportation cases.

[18] Recent alterations to statute law have made it very much more difficult to rely on ECHR Article 8 in post-conviction deportation cases.

[19] ILPA submitted detailed evidence on these matters to the Justice Select Committee on 14 May 2014.

[20] In R (Kiarie) and R (Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 42. Accessed September 2017: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2017/42.html the UK Supreme Court allowed two appeals because the financial and logistical barriers to the appellants giving evidence on screen from abroad were almost insurmountable, so that the arrangements for an out-of-country appeal did not meet the requisites of fairness.

[21] Applications can be made for fee waivers, but these require considerable work by legal representatives. It is very difficult for an unrepresented person to apply successfully for a fee waiver.

[22] Mr Luqmani told the Commission that although relatives, demographic communities, churches etc come together to pay for legal services, this invaluable assistance is not always available, and the need for help continues unabated.

[23] The Children’s Society. Helen Connolly. (2015). Cut Off from Justice: The impact of excluding separated migrant children from legal aid. Accessed September 2017:

https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/LegalAid_Summary_0.pdf

[24] Services regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

[25] Level 3 OISC providers – Further information on the OISC levels can be found online.

[26] There were, however, fee-charging providers in these areas. See Cut off from Justice, fn 56 above, p 53 for the full tables.

[27] In one case, an EU national who was simply trying to settle his permanent residence had gone through four immigration advisers over three years. He only succeeded in achieving his aim when he came eventually to a London Law Centre.

[28] See, for example, VV (grounds of appeal) [2016] UKUT 53 (IAC) (13 November 2015) Nixon (permission to appeal: grounds) [2014] UKUT 368 (IAC), (MR (permission to appeal: Tribunal’s approach) Brazil [2015] UKUT 29 (IAC). All accessed September2017: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/IAC/2016/53.html; http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/IAC/2014/%5b2014%5d_UKUT_368_iac.html;

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/IAC/2015/29.html

[29] MA (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 1229, per Ward LJ at paras 2, 4 and 7. Accessed September 2017:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2009/1229.html .

[30] See Kadyamarunga v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 301 (Admin). Accessed September 2017:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2014/301.html

[31] For example, in some cases where the only rights of appeal are on the grounds of human rights or race discrimination, an applicant may be told that he or she has no right of appeal and is therefore not sent an appeal form.

[32] AA (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 773, per Longmore LJ at para 87. Accessed September 2017:  http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2010/773.html .

[33] The Children’s Society. (2016) Making life impossible: how the needs of destitute migrant children are going unmet. Accessed September 2017: https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/making-life-impossible.pdf

[34] These claims may include applications for citizenship or applications for leave to remain on the basis of ECHR Article 8 (right to respect for private or family life).

[35] See fn 23 above.

[36] Including being sexually exploited and groomed by criminal networks.

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