§ Mr. Madden
To ask the Attorney-General what action he is taking to allocate more resources to enable delays in appeals against refusal to grant political asylum to be reduced; what is the average delay in such appeals being heard at the latest available date; and what was the average delay in such appeals at the comparable period in each of the last three years.
The Lord Chancellor's Department plans to increase by 10 per cent. the staffing resources available to the immigration appellate authorities (IAA) and to provide additional resources to improve existing accommodation and increase accommodation for the future. These measures will help the IAA to process more effectively all categories of immigration appeals including political asylum claims.
The IAA keep statistics for immigration cases generally, but do not record separate statistics for asylum cases. However, because of their importance, the IAA aim to give priority to asylum cases whenever possible. It is expected that the multi-terminal case-tracking system recently installed at Thanet house will enable the IAA to produce more detailed information.