HL Deb 23 February 2005 vol 669 c86WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland)

I have today laid before Parliament, in accordance with Section 103D of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 as inserted by Section 26 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004, the Community Legal Service (Asylum and Immigration) Regulations 2005. These regulations prescribe the procedure to be followed by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and the High Court, when retrospectively awarding legal aid for challenges to decisions of the tribunal.

These regulations will come into force on 4 April The new legal aid arrangements are being introduced to support the new Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and the new system of access to the higher courts, by discouraging weak applications. This will contribute to increasing speed and efficiency within the appeals process and ensuring that public money is focused on applicants with genuine claims.

Under the new arrangements legal aid will be awarded retrospectively at the end of the process, usually by the tribunal judge following reconsideration and in a limited number of cases, following the determination of the review application.