Immigration Legal Advice Community Study Day


Event details

Thursday 20 April 2023
Discovery Rooms, Students' Union, University of Sheffield
This is a free event but attendees must register


University of Sheffield and South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice community study day on Immigration Legal Advice

The event will take place in person 9.30-15.00 at the University of Sheffield.

There are deep structural failures in immigration legal aid representation in the UK. On paper asylum cases and some other specific immigration cases are eligible for legal aid, but in practice the privatised system incentivises lawyers taking on cases to do as little work as possible in order to make it financially viable and so their firm can make a profit from it, and clients often find their lawyers are hard to reach, take action without client permission and misadvise them which ultimately damages their case. The immigration legal aid system remains opaque to many who engage with it, and the systemic problems blighting access to good legal advice and support for those without the means to pay are inadequately discussed or understood across different actors who engage with it. 

This community study day is for anyone who wants to learn more about and discuss issues around UK immigration legal aid. It is for people who want to access or have accessed immigration legal aid, for immigration lawyers, trainee lawyers and social workers, migrant support NGOs, community groups, and activists. This study day aims to share knowledge from different perspectives, from people who need immigration legal aid to not for profit legal advice providers, to academic experts.

We will produce a set of accessible videos as an outcome of the day and share these widely afterwards to share the study day learning beyond those who attend.

Confirmed speakers: Brian Dikoff (Migrants Organise), Tom Nunn (South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice), Dr.Jo Wilding (University of Sussex)

Refreshments will be provided. 

Programme for the day:

  • 9.30 Arrival and coffee
  • 10.00-11.15 Opening study session: setting the scene. Lucy Mayblin chair
    • Introducing the immigration legal aid situation in the UK - Dr. Jo Wilding (Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex)
    • The local picture - Tom Nunn (SYRLJ)
    • Case studies highlighting the importance of immigration legal aid - Brian Dikoff (Migrants Organise) 
  • 11.15-11.30 Comfort break
  • 11.30-12.30 What does good immigration legal advice look like? 
    • Facilitated by Tom Nunn (SYRLJ) and Kate Wisbach (North East Law Centre)
  • 12.30-1.30 Lunch
  • 1.30 - 2.30 Challenging the immigration legal aid model 
    • Facilitated by Rivka Shaw (Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit) and Brian Dikoff (Migrants Organise) 
  • 2.30 -3.00 Closing summary of key learning takeaways - Dr. Amanda Spalding (Lecturer in Criminal Law and Justice, University of Sheffield)

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