The latest proposals for legal aid cuts will be devastating for people in detention and many more. The deadline to send this consultation to the Ministry of Justice urging them to rethink is 4 June. You can use this as a template response.
The legal aid cuts will allow the government to violate people’s rights with impunity. The proposals will mean that there will be extremely limited possibility of challenging bad decisions and abuse. If introduced, they will end Britain’s tradition of access to justice for all.
Fast track to despair
This briefing summarises the problems with the Detained Fast Track, including in the words of asylum-seekers who are going through it.
The report uncovered long periods in which asylum seekers are detained unnecessarily at the start of the process, undermining the rationale for a “fast” asylum process. The tight timescales when the process starts, combined with high security detention conditions and the confusion experienced by asylum-seekers, severely inhibit their ability to prepare an asylum claim.
The economic cost of immigration detention
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is wasting £75 million per year by detaining migrants who are ultimately released. Limited detention space could be more efficiently used if case owners “get it right” initially by only detaining migrants who can be deported within a lawful and reasonable period.
The research finds that supporting these migrants in the community would cost around £1 million per year, if they are not granted the right to work. However, these costs are dwarfed by savings of £76 million per year that would come with the reduced use of expensive detention space, as well as unlawful detention payments. These savings are equivalent to the costs of at least three detention centres.ports
Ending detention with no time limit publications
No Release No Return No Reason: challenging indefinite detention (2010)
The report demonstrates that the indefinite detention of migrants who cannot be deported is ineffective, inefficient and enormously damaging.
Detained Lives: the real cost of indefinite detention (2009)
The report presents evidence of the ineffectiveness and the human cost of the practice of indefinite detention.
In August 2007, Detention Action published evidence that Iranian and Algerians without passports or other ID are being refused travel documents by their embassies, meaning that they cannot return. As a result, many are spending unnecessarily long periods in detention. In many cases, detainees are repeatedly told at bail hearings that they will be removed within a specified period, but no removal takes place.
The full dossiers are available by request, and are free for detainees or their legal representatives.
Similar dossiers were published in early 2006 on Mauritania and Niger and late 2006 on Sierra Leone. In each case, all Detention Action clients from those countries were released shortly after the publication of the dossiers.