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Immigration: Children

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL2805, tabled on 20 October 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government based on closed matters, what was (1) the total number of immigration cases (not including asylum) involving children under 18, and (2) the total civil legal aid spending on those cases in 2012–13.

Answered on

20 November 2015

The total number of closed non-asylum immigration cases for 2012/13 where the appellant was recorded as being under 18 cannot be provided by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service without incurring disproportionate costs.


The table below shows volumes of legal aid claims paid in immigration and asylum matters, and the expenditure on the same covering the last five financial years, where the assisted party was an individual under 18 years of age.


As this information is based on closed cases only (i.e. where the final bill has been paid) it will not reflect the total number of cases for which legal aid funding has been made available, particularly in more recent years.


Please note that asylum cases cannot be separately reported on at the Civil Representation level.


Legal aid is a vital part of our justice system, but we cannot escape the continuing need to reduce the deficit. The Coalition Government reformed legal aid to reduce its cost and ensure the system commands the confidence of the public. The great majority of unaccompanied children are asylum seekers, and therefore will continue to be eligible for legal aid.


Legal Help / Controlled Legal Representation

Civil Representation

Immigration

Asylum

Immigration and Asylum

Volume

Value (£)

Volume

Value (£)

Volume

Value (£)

2010-2011

3,907

1,917,936

9,229

8,576,360

136

335,675

2011-2012

1,623

889,997

6,389

6,812,981

131

541,146

2012-2013

915

431,192

4,130

4,962,635

141

490,059

2013-2014

486

254,747

3,490

4,094,460

125

690,401

2014-2015

231

104,968

4,133

4,761,707

166

539,570


Legal aid is a vital part of our justice system, but we cannot escape the continuing need to reduce the deficit. The Coalition Government reformed legal aid to reduce its cost and focus it on those who most need legal advice or help. Last year we spent £1.6bn on legal aid, around a quarter of the department’s expenditure.