Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law
Survey on legal advice in detention centres during pandemic

Survey on legal advice in detention centres during pandemic

The charity Women for Refugee Women is worried about access to legal advice at the new Derwentside immigration removal centre in County Durham. Advice is being provided entirely remotely for at least six months. If you are a lawyer who gives advice in detention centres under the Detention Duty Advice contract, you can help out by emailing Gemma Lousley (gemma@refugeewomen.co.uk) with responses to the following survey questions by 21 January 2022:

1. In broad terms, in 2021 (excluding periods of complete lockdown):

a. How often/in what proportion of cases, and in what circumstances, has your firm attended an IRC in person for initial surgery appointments?

b. How often/in what proportion of cases, and in what circumstances, has your firm attended an IRC in person for a follow-up appointment with a client? For example, it may be that in-person appointments occur where a client requests it and/or has been assessed as in need of an in-person appointment due to capacity issues, mental health issues and/or other forms of vulnerabilities?

2. In broad terms, in the next six months,

a. How often/in what proportion of cases, and in what circumstances, does your firm expect to attend an IRC in person for an initial surgery appointment?

b. How often/in what proportion of cases, and in what circumstances, does your firm expect to attend an IRC in person for a follow-up appointment with a client?

c. Does your firm have a plan in practice for in-person appointments for clients who (i) request it; or (ii) you assess as in need of an in-person assessment due to capacity issues, mental health issues and/or other forms of vulnerabilities?

3. In broad terms, how important do you consider the availability of in-person initial and/or follow-up appointments and why/in what kinds of cases?

The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.