July 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament Bills and consultations including immigration and asylum tribunal fees, the minimum age of criminal responsibility and the proposed secondary market for pension annuities.

Key areas are highlighted below. For more information see the law reform section of the website

Immigration and Asylum tribunal fees

The Immigration and Asylum Law Committee, Administrative Justice Law Committee and Access to Justice Committee have responded to a consultation from the Ministry of Justice on proposals to increase the fees currently charged in the First-tier Tribunal, and the introduction of fees for permission to appeal applications and for appeals heard in the Upper Tribunal.

We disagree with all proposals on fees for immigration and asylum appeals and are concerned by this approach to the duties and obligations under the Equality Act 2010. We do not believe that restricting access to justice to several groups of First-tier Tribunal service users can be considered justifiable on the grounds of following the principles of ‘Managing Public Money’. Restricting access to justice to some of the most vulnerable members of our society for financial reasons cannot be considered as acceptable policy in a democratic society founded on the rule of law.

The full consultation response is available to read on the law reform section of the website