Legal Aid Scheme: Refugees

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th April 2019.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Chair, Justice Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department made in the Post-Implementation Review of Part 1 of LASPO of the potential merits of making legal aid available for refugee family reunion applications including for applications to bring adult dependent children to the UK.

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Chair, Justice Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will reintroduce legal aid for refugee family reunion cases.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

We have committed to lay legislation to bring non-asylum immigration matters into the scope of legal aid for separated migrant children.

Legal aid for family reunion may be available under the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) scheme, where there is a breach or risk of breach of ECHR rights, and subject to means and merits tests. We recently committed to work with the Legal Aid Agency, legal practitioners and others to review and simplify the ECF application process and ensure that funding is provided in as timely a manner as possible.

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