Illegal Migration Act becomes law
The Illegal Migration Act has this week received royal assent and is now law. Throughout its parliamentary journey, we have spoken out against the bill’s unworkability, and its incompatibility with our international obligations.
In a press release, our president Lubna Shuja said: “we have been clear from the start that this legislation threatens to undermine the rule of law and access to justice”.
“[The Act] will be unworkable in practice because it doesn’t provide solutions to the asylum backlog, and there isn’t capacity in the legal aid sector to provide the immigration advice needed.”
What we achieved
Although the bill has gone through, our work has resulted in two successes.
- We persuaded the government to add legal aid provisions to the Bill. Originally, the bill did not include any mention of legal aid. Our campaigning led to lines being inserted that ensure the provision of civil legal aid services for those in receipt of a removal notice
- Following our campaigning on legal aid, the Government will open a consultation into immigration legal aid fees
Although the Act is now law, our campaigning to increase legal aid provision and our advocacy for the profession and the rule of law continues.