With all of the bleakness at the moment around the current Refugee Ban Bill, we were keen to share news of a campaign win from one of our members.
Our friends at Women for Refugee Women recently told us that following their legal challenge last year, on the lack of access to in-person legal advice for women locked up in Derwentside detention centre, it has been announced that all legal advice surgeries in immigration detention must now take place face-to-face.
This marks an important and welcome recognition of the inadequacies of legal advice delivered by telephone or videocall in detention centres.
We are extremely pleased that individuals who are detained will now be able to receive face-to-face legal advice and meaningful access to justice. Their legal challenge may not have been upheld, but this is an important victory!
And they offered this inspiring quote to give us all hope:
‘This about-turn by the Government on the issue of face-to-face legal advice shows that campaigning works. As the so-called ‘Illegal Migration Bill’ progresses through Parliament, we should take strength from this success and remember it is possible to stop the injustices and harms the Government wants to inflict. Love and compassion will always win over racism, callousness and cruelty.’