The fight to save legal aid
Access to legal aid is a lifeline for asylum seekers, but legal aid is increasingly under threat. Asylum Aid at the heart of the fight to save it.
Asylum Aid has helped more than 30,000 asylum seekers and refugees in the last twenty years. The overwhelming majority of our clients rely on legal aid. They have fled their homes with nothing, and can’t possibly afford a private solicitor.
But legal aid for asylum work has already been cut three times in seven years, and the government is proposing to cut even further. In this time, the two largest providers of asylum advice in the UK have gone bankrupt. Good quality legal advice is harder and harder to find, and we are deeply worried about the consequences if the government presses ahead with its plans.
What Asylum Aid is doing
We know all too well what will happen if highly vulnerable people are left without access to quality legal advice. So Asylum Aid is
- advising the government directly on asylum reforms which would improve decisions and stretch legal aid much further
- campaigning alongside our colleagues at Justice 4 All, Save Justice and the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association to save legal aid from more cuts
- publishing research and policy papers on our legal aid work, to make the case for smarter use of legal aid
- lobbying parliament, and working with the Home Affairs Committee, Justice Committee and Joint Committee on Human Rights to build opposition to the government’s plans
- providing expert information to MPs and peers, and to bodies like the Low Commission, to sustain pressure on the government
- gathering detailed evidence of the benefits of the highest quality legal aid work, for a project which will be published next year