Clause 21 - Priority Removal Notices: Expediated Appeals

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 26th October 2021.

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 2:45 pm, 26th October 2021

I agree with everything the shadow Minister said. I want to speak in support of amendment 42, which would preserve onward rights of appeal in certain circumstances.

The overall danger of clause 21 is that it risks expediting appeal processes so that mistakes are made and people are denied justice. Given the dangers that are posed by speeding up such processes, it is all the more important that there is access to the supervisory jurisdiction of the higher courts in case errors are made. We are not talking about minor issues; these are matters of life and death. Assessments have been made about a risk of persecution. Errors will have catastrophic consequences for individuals concerned.

All tribunals make mistakes, so in such circumstances, it seems reckless not to have any right of appeal. I absolutely accept that there can be restrictions and that the grounds for such an appeal can be phrased in a way to try to prevent abuse, but to exclude it altogether goes way beyond what can be justified. Expedited appeals without any possibility of onward appeals creates a double danger of getting those decisions wrong. The fact that claims are made late does not remotely mean that they are necessarily without merit, nor does it mean that they can be decided any quicker than another claim and it should not automatically lead to accelerated appeals processes.

Again, I think that all this is missing the point. The tribunal was actually functioning pretty well. It is the Home Office that has to focus on getting its house in order, and the whole clause is completely misconceived.