University of Sussex
5143_Migration_report_accessible_sep22.pdf (665.78 kB)

Developing a cost-free legal advice service for asylum seekers and migrants in Brighton and Hove

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posted on 2023-06-10, 05:21 authored by Nuno FerreiraNuno Ferreira, Judith TownendJudith Townend, William McCready, Erika Carrière, Hannah Farkas, Samantha Robinson
In 2018, a team of University of Sussex undergraduate law students working under the supervision of academic staff, conducted the Migration Law Clinic Pilot Study. This was in response to growing and grave concerns about the lack of availability of legal support and services for those seeking asylum and other forms of leave to remain in the UK. These concerns have only heightened in the intervening period: most recently, in response to the government’s publication of a draft Bill of Rights to repeal and replace the Human Rights Act 1998, which would make it much more difficult for potential deportees to rely on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to prevent removal and might have a wider impact on the rights and status of vulnerable groups of migrants in the UK; and, among other initiatives, the government’s intention to involuntarily relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda, which will then be responsible for processing the asylum claim and for providing asylum in successful cases. The purposes of the study were: i) To better understand some of the challenges faced by asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants living in Brighton and Hove when applying for asylum, and other forms of leave to remain and leave to enter. ii) To identify the extent and reasons for any shortfall in cost-free immigration and asylum law advice and representation in Brighton and Hove. iii) To gauge whether there was demand for additional free legal advice in the form of a university law clinic, specialising in immigration and asylum law. The team undertook a review of the legal framework that governs the provision of legal aid for immigration and asylum law matters and of relevant academic commentary on its impact. The team also gathered new empirical data based on interviews with a range of local stakeholders. This report sets out the team’s findings, describes how it informed the development of the clinic, and makes recommendations both for the further development of the Clinic and for changes to the provision of legal aid. Finally, it offers advice to other universities contemplating setting up their own clinic in this area.


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University of Sussex Migration Law Clinic



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Brighton and Hove

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  • Law Publications


University of Sussex

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