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Legal Aid

Volume 689: debated on Thursday 22 February 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their response to the decline in the number of legal practitioners willing to take on asylum cases, due to the rates of legal aid in such cases. [HL2035]

A practitioner’s decision to withdraw from immigration work is likely to be influenced by a number of factors, not least the very significant fall in the number of people seeking asylum. The Legal Services Commission has also taken steps to exclude poorly performing firms from this area of work.

The Legal Services Commission is committed to establishing an increasingly quality-assured supplier base that is sufficient to meet the need for immigration services. The commission monitors the supply of legal practitioners at a regional level, and, where there has been concern over a shortfall, it has always worked closely with local suppliers to address it.