The Government hopes to reduce delays in asylum appeal cases with the introduction of a new statutory review process set out in amendments to the National Immigration and Asylum Bill
The process will replace judicial review for cases refused leave to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal. To reduce the number of appeals, the amendments also allow for cost penalties to be imposed on lawyers bringing cases with no merit. The statutory review will have tighter time limits for application, and cases which previously took up to three months will now be completed within two weeks. Rather than the two or three-stage process for judicial review, the new process will be carried out by a single High Court judge in the Administrative Court and will have no onward appeal to the Court of Appeal. In cases deemed to have no merit, the judge will have a duty to issue a certificate to the Legal Services Commission. In such circumstances, a lawyer could be refused payment for the work. "The new statutory review process maintains the fairness of the legal process while preventing it from being used simply to cause delay," said Baroness Scotland, minister at the Lord Chancellor's Department.