The session complements our recently published ‘OISC registration and clinics’ resource, which aims to help clinic coordinators develop and deliver immigration and asylum services. In the resource we address the issues of the regulatory framework and provide practical tips and guidance to setting up an immigration service.
Rosie Brennan (University of Plymouth), Clare Tudor (Sheffield Hallam University) and Frances Trevena (School of Advanced Study, University of London) provided an overview of their services and shared their experiences of setting up and running immigration and asylum advice pro bono services.
The Refugee Family Reunion Law Clinic at the University of Plymouth in the South West works in partnership with the British Red Cross to progress refugee family reunion immigration applications. Rosie Brennan elaborated on the local need, which prompted the development of the clinic, and stressed the importance of establishing local partnerships with frontline organisations. After intense induction and training, students take statements and support evidence-building under supervision.
At the Sheffield Hallam University Refugee Family Reunion Clinic based within the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University students work alongside qualified OISC registered immigration and asylum specialists to help refugees navigate the complex processes and procedures for making family reunification applications. Clare Tudor explained the challenges in accessing legal advice in this area in the region currently and prior to setting up the clinic, which is open every day of the week.
The University of London Refugee Law Clinic is a newly established clinic which effectively started taking on cases in August of this year. Under supervision of Frances Trevena, the clinic brings together students from the University’s member institutions and works in partnership with city law firms. The service mainly focuses on advising and preparing fresh claims for asylum, which has been identified as an underserviced in the current legal landscape. Further, the clinic has well-established relationships with various local legal aid firms and front line organisations.
The speakers all stressed the importance of student training and supervision, the role of legal aid, as well as the difficulty of reaching the client group through remote services.
- OISC regulation and clinics
- Video recording of InfoExchange