HC Deb 01 March 1973 vol 851 cc1687-8
12. Mr. Madel

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied with the working of the Immigration Appeals Act 1969; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lane

My right hon. Friend is in general satisfied with the working of the immigration appeal system as modified by the Immigration Act 1971.

Mr. Madel

Is the Minister aware of two of my constituents who experienced some delay before their appeals were heard? Will he take action to speed up the work of the tribunals hearing appeals on this matter?

Mr. Lane

Yes. I know that there have been delays in a number of individual cases, and I should like to shorten the time. We have taken steps to try to streamline the process but if we are to be sure that the system is fair and thorough, matters cannot always progress as fast as we should like.

Mr. Deedes

Is my hon. Friend aware that in some parts of the world the system is working anything but satisfactorily, and a very large backlog of appeals remains to be worked off? That will continue as long as people are able to appeal without any kind of condition, and as often as they please. If our posts overseas are to be given any chance to deal with what they have on their hands, the system must be urgently overhauled.

Mr. Lane

I am aware of the point that my right hon. Friend has made and I am looking at it at the moment. I will discuss it further with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, whose staff are also involved in this matter.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

We must preserve the right to appeal in all cases where a decision has been made. Will the hon. Gentleman reconsider the question of publicity for decisions made by the adjudicators or the tribunal? It would help if there was a system of law reporting from the tribunal. On the whole, the Press do not cover these cases.

Mr. Lane

I will have another look at that. My impression from seeing the appeal system at work and seeing the judgments on paper is that on the whole it is working fairly from the individual's point of view. However, if more publicity would be helpful I will consider that.

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