The Government has published its response to the consultation on immigration legal aid fees, but, as we explore in a joint statement with the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, it fails to set out a robust strategy for securing the sustainability of immigration legal aid.

Read our full statement

Read our recommendations to the consultation

Despite remaining concerns, we are pleased to see the Government has taken up our recommendations on two issues:

  • lowering the escape fee threshold (to double rather than triple the fixed fee) for legal help cases
  • the inadequacy of the proposed £75 of remuneration for advice on referral to the National Referral Mechanism, which the Government has doubled

Failing to ensure long term sustainability

We are concerned that the Government intends to proceed with proposals which could negatively impact the sustainability of the immigration legal aid sector and make it harder for individuals to obtain the legal representation they need.

This includes the use of fixed fees for some legal aid services. In our response, we expressed concerns that the proposed fixed fees would result in practitioners not being adequately remunerated for their work. This would place practitioners under pressure to compromise the level of preparation, representation and client care they provide, and would ultimately make taking on legally aided work unviable.

The consultation also fails to address the fundamental issues with the sustainability of the immigration legal aid sector.

Urgent interim and long-term measures are needed to secure the sustainability of immigration and asylum legal aid. We would urge the Government to accept our recommendations and engage with us on these matters.

Read our full statement