Victims of trafficking & modern slavery at greatest risk from right to appeal restrictions

JRS condemns plans to further restrict vulnerable people's right to appeal an asylum decision

19 March 2021

Further concerning plans for changes to the asylum and immigration system in the upcoming ‘Sovereign Borders Bill’ have been shared by the Home Office as reported in the Telegraph today  (external link to full article). The Home Office plans to further restrict the right of appeal for those seeking asylum who have had a previous claim refused by creating a new “one stop shop” system where every legal attempt to appeal a deportation ruling would need to be submitted at the same time.  It is expected Home Secretary Priti Patel will publish details next week of full proposed changes in the upcoming ‘Sovereign Borders Bill’.

News of planned restrictions on those appealing asylum decisions come alongside the recent announcement of offshore centres and plans to build “reception centres” to act as initial accommodation for people seeking asylum.

Michael Tarnoky, Senior Legal Officer at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS UK) said:

“Any proposals which seek to circumvent domestic or international law will end badly for the government, those in need of protection, their families and the wider community. The law already provides for a “one stop” appeal, penalises late disclosure ( often wrongly) and presents serious barriers to those seeking to challenge decisions.


“Restrictions on a right to appeal already exist. Removing them for all but the most exceptional circumstances runs against fundamental legal principles.  The most vulnerable, and those who will be worst affected by further restrictions, will be those who have fallen foul of the criminal justice system but are themselves victims of trafficking or modern slavery.


“The fundamental issue is the lack of access to quality legal advice and representation, especially for those in detention. Removing judicial oversight will only exacerbate the problem and further undermine trust from those directly affected and the wider community. “


The Prime Minister was also quoted with regards to granting an amnesty for migrants. He said “When people have been here for a very long time … then it makes sense to try to regularise their status.”


Michael Tarnoky said: “We would favour a pragmatic approach to regularising the status of many who have become part of our communities, a step that could allow the space for the Home Office to introduce genuine reform.”


[All News]


Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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