Monday, 21 August, 2017

Minister for review of legal aid for refugees

12 Aug 2017, 01:03 ( 9 days ago) | updated: 12 Aug 2017, 11:17 ( 9 days ago)

DF Report
Minister of Justice Antti Häkkänen. Photo Finnish government by Laura Kotila.

The government has decided to review newly introduced legal assistance system for the asylum seekers.

Justice Minister Antti Häkänen said that the ministry already ordered to prepare a reform report in this regard, national broadcaster Yle reported.

Earlier, the government brought changes in the legal assistance system for the refugees in 2016, which was strongly criticized by the lawyers, asylum seekers and human rights legal advisors.

The system barred most expert asylum lawyers from the initial asylum application process, which forced the refugees to depend on generalist legal aid practitioners for the legal procedure.

The change provision also compels most of the asylum seekers to face interview without presence of a legal advisor, as the government did not compensate for the legal aid that time.

The lawyers' groups and human rights legal advisors protested the system with successful appeals against negative asylum decisions now running at record levels, said the Yle report.

“The exceptional events of the last few years, and subsequent changes to the regulations demand that we make a careful report on the effects of the actions,” the Yle report said quoting a statement of Häkkänen.

Häkkänen said the report was ordered before the summer, as the ministry tried to find out whether services were sufficient and whether asylum seekers could access them.

 

 

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