HC Deb 23 October 2002 vol 391 c372W
Mr. Malin

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the circumstances in which asylum applicants from abroad will be entitled to advice from lawyers who would be publicly funded to travel abroad to take instructions and give advice. [75417]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Lawyers in England and Wales wanting to travel abroad to see the client in person need the prior authority of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) if they wish to claim the expense from public funds.

The LSC would only authorise expenditure in exceptional circumstances—if an interview was absolutely necessary, and there was no reasonable alternative such as communication by telephone, post, fax or video link. Sponsors, relatives or friends of a client based in the UK could also be used as a channel for instructions. Lawyers abroad could also be used as agents and paid out of public funds. In most cases where asylum applicants have been removed, the client would have been able to discuss his or her case in detail with a legal adviser before removal.