Derwentside Immigration Removal Centre

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 29th November 2021.

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Photo of Kate Osborne Kate Osborne Labour, Jarrow

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what contingency arrangements for legal advice provision will be put in place in response to the cancellation of the Detained Duty Advice Scheme procurement process for Derwentside immigration removal centre; which legal aid providers will be delivering advice under those contingency arrangements; and whether legal advice at Derwentside will be delivered in-person or remotely.

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice)

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) operates free legal advice surgeries in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) in England. Individuals who are detained are entitled to receive up to 30 minutes of advice regardless of financial eligibility or the merits of their case. There is no restriction on the number of surgeries an individual may attend. If an individual who is detained requires substantive advice on a matter which is in scope of legal aid, full legal advice can be provided if the statutory legal aid means and merits criteria are met.

In order to provide access to the Detention Duty Advice Scheme (DDAS) services for women held at Derwentside Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) from 1 January 2022, existing Providers at Yarl’s Wood IRC will be invited to express interest in providing an additional 6 months of interim provision at Derwentside.

Under the contingency arrangements, 2 surgeries per week are planned for Derwentside DDAS. Appointments will be available as soon as women are held at the centre.

Following a change of operations in line with Government advice on social distancing, the LAA DDAS is currently operating by phone in IRCs. Detained individuals who wish to access this service are asked to advise centre staff, who will notify the duty solicitor under the scheme. The duty solicitor will contact the individual directly.

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