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UK: Incorrect immigration and asylum decisions undermine UK rule of law

In response to recent government statistics showing that 50% of immigration and asylum decisions that go to appeal in England and Wales are overturned, the Law Society of England and Wales has issued a strongly worded statement warning that failures in the UK immigration and asylum system are undermining the rule of law.

Joe Egan, the President of the Law Society, explained that despite the good practice in the Home Office and officials who clearly want to make a difference, each error or delay may – and often does – have a devastating effect on someone's life. He reminds that solicitors, charities and media have long reported these delays and unreliable decisions in all areas of immigration – from business and worker applications to family, children and asylum cases. In the worst cases, adults and even children are forced to wait years for a decision – and while they wait their life is on hold: they cannot plan, work, travel or access a wide range of state support.

The Law Society also raised concerns over the ever-increasing visa application fees and warned that the costs of appealing mean poorer people may be unable to challenge an incorrect Home Office decision. "We need an immigration and asylum process that is fit for purpose and that makes lawful, timely, consistent decisions," adds its President Joe Egan.