Refugee and Migrant Justice Crisis
Asylum Advice Crisis update - RMJ look set to close
Refugee and Migrant justice (RMJ) will be pretty much signing off on Thursday 24 June. Despite a last ditch attempt to get the LSC to join with charitable trusts in a rescue package, backed by Simon Hughes, the LSC refused today to play. Simon Hughes, MP has however got agreement to have a meeting with Jonathan Djanogly, Minister for Legal Aid, soon to talk about late payments.
AdviceUK wrote to Kenneth Clarke, Lord Chancellor, regarding RMJ's current position and recent statements made that AdviceUK believe to be incorrect. AdviceUK urged the Chancellor to reconsider his decision not to assist RMJ.
The Trustees of asylum advice provider Refugee and Migrant Justice (RMJ) have signed papers to place the charity into administration as a result of a cash flow problem created by late payment of legal aid by the Legal Services Commission.
A campaign to save RMJ has been supported by leading figures, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty and the film director Ken Loach. To find out more and support RMJ, click here.
Justice at Risk
RMJ has published an interim report on cost and quality in asylum advice research, which exposes the serious weaknesses in the legal aid scheme that are at the root of the organisation's crisis.
'While it is clear that quality work costs, this review has found evidence that poor quality work costs much more in the longer term both to the public purse and in human terms to individual asylum applicants. The LSC’s Graduated Fee Scheme pays for legal aid work through a series of fixed fees. The evidence suggests that these fixed fees, combined with the low threshold level of quality at which legal aid providers can enter and operate in the UK market for asylum advice, may be designed to incentivise efficiency but in fact are likely to cost more in the long term.'
The findings of perverse incentives, cost and waste echo conclusions that AdviceUK has drawn and called on the government to address - for more information, click here.
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