HC Deb 07 November 2002 vol 392 cc809-10W
Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many applicants under the expedited appeals process(a) between 1 April 2001 and 31 March 2002 and (b) since 1 April 2002 received (i) legal advice and assistance in preparing their asylum appeal and (ii) legal representation at the appeal hearing; [79615]

(2) how many asylum appeals (a) between 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002 and (b) since 1 April 2002 have been (i) lodged and (ii) heard under the expedited appeals process; how many of these appeals have been refused; and in relation to these refusals, how many applications for judicial review have been lodged. [79616]

Beverley Hughes

[holding answer 6 November 2002]: The expedited appeal process commenced in August 2002.

Appeals are expedited where the appellant's claim has been processed at Oakington, they remain detained after leaving Oakington, and the appeal has been certified as falling within paragraph 9(4)(a) or (b) or paragraph 9(5)(a) or (b) of schedule 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (appeals which are manifestly unfounded).

Appeals in the expedited process have no first hearing and are listed for a full hearing no earlier than six and no later than eight working days from receipt of the appeal by the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA).

Advice and assistance for preparing an asylum appeal is available to all asylum applicants at Oakington. The Immigration Advisory Service and Refugee Legal Centre both have on-site representatives and will act for any asylum applicants held at Oakington. Subject to means and merits tests, applicants will be entitled to receive legal representation funded by the Legal Services Commission at their appeal hearing.

Asylum statistics are published quarterly. The latest published figures give information up to and including June 2002. Data relating to the period beyond June 2002 are not yet available. The next publication giving figures up to and including September will be available from 29 November 2002 on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.