Clause 11 — Unification of appeal system

Part of Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, Etc.) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 1st March 2004.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Constitutional Affairs) 8:30 pm, 1st March 2004

We are not only meeting the obligations of the ECHR but going beyond them. The hon. Gentleman asks why we are introducing this system, and I shall tell him. This is what I tell my constituents and what I believe all hon. Members should be saying to theirs. It is because between October 2002 and September 2003, the adjudicator appeal stage received 70,198 appeals, of which just under 59,000 were dismissed. It is because the Immigration Appeal Tribunal received just over 33,000 appeals, of which just under 2,000 were allowed. It is because of that—because people are playing the system—that the Government must act to deal with what is in effect an abuse of process in a system that does not give people finality. We must have finality, which will benefit the genuine asylum seeker. It will also benefit social cohesion up and down the country and meet our obligation to ensure that we have a fair system for asylum seekers and for taxpayers.

However, an appellant cannot and should not expect there to be an appeal process with multiple stages, through which they can avoid removal. Those who have no legitimate right to remain in the country simply cannot go on responding to every negative decision by mounting a further challenge. We cannot have an endless process of challenge after challenge.