Report (3rd Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 10:15 pm on 12th March 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour 10:15 pm, 12th March 2012

My Lords, on unaccompanied children, I accept the point that social workers will not be expected to provide formal legal advice, but in the other place the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice said that they could turn to law centres, pro bono representation or the Refugee Council for such formal legal advice. As I am sure the Minister knows, the Refugee Council and the Law Centres Federation have written to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to say that it is simply impossible for that gap to be filled in that way and to point out that the Refugee Council does not provide that kind of support. Will the Minister take that on board? I still do not know where these children will get that legal advice if they need it.