New rules threaten access to justice for asylum seekers and migrants

Take Action to Protect Access to Justice for Asylum Seekers and Migrants

New legal aid rules will decimate access to justice for asylum seekers and migrants. These rules must be stopped. Please support YLAL’s campaign against these rules and ask your MP to support a fatal motion in Parliament. 

What is the issue?

YLAL member and Garden Court North pupil barrister Christian Weaver created this helpful explainer: 


The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 will come into force on 8th June 2020 and last for one year. The regulations set a new legal aid fee for asylum and immigration appeals. These fees have been brought in before a full consultation has taken place, and a full impact assessment has not been carried out. 

The standard fixed fee for a case lodged through the courts new platform will be £627 for an asylum case, or £527 for a non-asylum case. The changes will make legally aided asylum and immigration work financially unviable and harm access to justice

What is the impact? 

Access to justice will be denied for those most in need of representation.

The new legal aid rates will make it financially impossible for lawyers to take on complex immigration and asylum cases. The immigration Bar is united in refusing to accept instructions under this new fee model as the changes pose an existential threat to the profession.

Firms will be less likely to do legally aided immigration cases, particularly those which are complex and demand more time, for people with complicated histories and vulnerabilities. There is too great a risk that they will not be paid for hours of time. The alternative would be to do the bare minimum on a case, for the firm to pay its bills and survive.

The changes will also have a serious impact on social mobility and diversity in the legal aid sector. 

Please read our full briefing here.

We’re really grateful to YLAL member Christian Weaver for his ‘The Law in 60 Seconds’ video which sets out how the new rules will harm access to justice. 

We have produced a major report on the impact of the rules on access to justice for victims of trafficking. In short, access to justice will be denied for many. 

YLAL Campaign: #APrayerForLegalAid

With YLAL’s support, the Official Opposition has tabled a fatal motion to strike down the new Statutory Instrument (SI) by way of an Early Day Motion (EDM 559). 

We urgently need MPs to add their names in support the fatal motion (EDM 559), which is also known as a prayer. This could result in the SI being struck down. This is essential to secure access to justice for the most disadvantaged in society.

We need your help!

Please call on your MP to oppose the new leal aid rules.  Not sure who your MP is? Check here.

We need to make as much noise as possible as this issue is too important to be ignored. 

Template Tweet: 

Hi [Add your MP’s twitter handle], Please support the prayer against new legal aid rules that would decimate access to justice for asylum seekers and migrants. @YLALawyers #APrayerForLegalAid

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Please share this campaign widely through your networks.