Continuing in the spirit of innovation, the Free Movement legal forum will, all being well, launch next week. I’m seeking comments or feedback on the idea now before it goes live.
A Join the forum introductory page has been added to the menu bar for a preview of what is in store. This includes the rules and terms and conditions. There is no access to the forum itself yet as it will be for subscribers only. A subscription will cost £25 (or £50 for a shared log in email) and I haven’t enabled the online payment gateway, which will be by credit card, Paypal or Google Wallet.
The forum is designed to be as simple to administer as possible while also being user friendly and interactive. There is a fee because of the hosting and software costs and time costs involved in running this project and to deter members of the public and/or nutters from applying to join. A separate public forum may follow, though, if the project goes well. The fee structure needs to be simple to administer – different types of membership would start to become complex to manage. The sign up process involves paying first then being granted access because that is the best solution for screening members I could come up with using the software available.
At launch there will be five different forums where subscribers can post messages, reply and attach files for sharing:
News, gossip and rants
Comments and sharing of news items from the Wider World and any consequent ranting. Keep it legal and clean, though…
All general immigration queries including family immigration, visitors and categories outside the Points Based System. If a topic does not fit somewhere else, this is the place to put it.
Asylum, human rights and detention
For all matters related to asylum, human rights and detention issues. This includes refugee, humanitarian protection, Articles 3 and 8 ECHR and all immigration detention and bail issues.
Article 8 family life cross over with the family immigration rules is probably better handled in the general immigration forum.
Business, commercial and Points Based System
All matters relating to the Points Based System including students, plus any other business or commercial immigration issues including sponsorship.
Support and suggestions
If you have support or help issues or have feedback or suggestions then post them up here and we’ll see what we can do.
More forums or sub forums can be added if warranted.
As it says on the Join the forum page, the intention is to create a private, progressive space in which immigration lawyers, campaigners, academics, students and select others can help one another and discuss any or all immigration, asylum, nationality and human rights law questions and policy. I hope that the messages can be discursive, open and helpful. It seems to me there is space in the sector for a modern, co-operative and interactive online community for lawyers. Let me know what you think. In particular, if anyone thinks this is a bad idea, now would be a good time to say so!
Lastly, something is bound to go wrong with something. Please be patient.