Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Jodie Blackstock:

The problem with simply relying on judicial review as a mechanism is the difficulty in mounting a judicial review now, as a result of the changes made to access to legal aid prior to permission for judicial review, and the fact that judicial review is not perfect. In order to be successful in a judicial review, you need to demonstrate that the process by which the decision was made was flawed. That does not remake the decision; it sends the decision back to be made again, according to whatever error needs to be addressed. That, in itself, seems to be the most bureaucratic and inappropriate method for what is, as you say, potentially a simple grey area that requires a simple review.

Internal administrative review might be a sensible solution if it was not set against the context of a Home Office that has been struggling, as we know, for the past few years to make decisions in a way that provides public confidence. Without an independent appeal right, we are concerned that that would be all that was available. We are talking about a significant number of people who will apply to this scheme, with every potential for there to be inadequate administrative provision to deal with it, so an appeal right seems pretty important to us.