I propose to take Questions Nos. 114 to 116, inclusive, together.
The Legal Aid Board is committed to providing all international protection clients with early legal advice on all aspects of their application. In their initial consultation, (pre-questionnaire stage) the applicant is informed of the Permission to Remain (PTR) procedure. This includes the potential for consideration of an application for PTR contemporaneously with their application for asylum/subsidiary protection. They are also informed of their ongoing obligation to inform me of any changes in circumstances that might affect their application; and of the 5 day statutory period following receipt of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) decision to file further PTR submissions before final review by me.
If the International Protection Office (IPO) issues a negative recommendation to the client, it is reviewed by the Legal Aid Board solicitor who will then take the client’s instructions. If the client is not appealing the recommendation, a letter will issue to them advising that the case is now completed. Should the IPAT affirm the negative recommendation, the client will be advised again of the statutory time-limit for reviewing the decision. Where requested by the client, a review will be initiated by the solicitor.
If a client has been served with a Deportation Order, the Legal Aid Board solicitor will write to them explaining its implications. They will be offered an appointment if the solicitor considers it appropriate and necessary. The solicitor will then review the considerations and, if they are of the view that there are no grounds for challenging the Deportation Order:
- The client will be informed in writing;
- The client will be advised of the possibility of obtaining a second opinion privately, and
- The client will be advised that their file will be closed after the reporting date has passed.
If the solicitor is of the view that there are legal grounds to challenge the Deportation Order, the client will be advised on the options of seeking a revocation or instituting judicial review proceedings. If considered appropriate by the legal representative, they may submit written representations to me setting out the reasons as to why the Deportation Order should be revoked.
Where it is considered that the decision to issue a Deportation Order is flawed and merits the institution of Judicial Review proceedings, that possibility will be investigated by the Legal Aid Board solicitor and the client will advised as to their options.