The UK’s asylum process should be scrapped in favour of a ‘new blueprint’ that will reduce delays and ensure greater fairness and accountability in the treatment of asylum-seekers, the Law Society’s immigration law committee told MPs last week.
The revised process would address the ‘deep systemic flaws’ in the existing process and stop the ‘unnecessary drain on heavily strained public finances’, the committee said.
The proposals, in written evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry on asylum, follow last month’s news that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is to be abolished and brought back within the Home Office.
Home secretary Theresa May said that the UKBA had been a ‘troubled organisation’ for too long and its performance was ‘not good enough’.
The Law Society committee, while agreeing with May’s decision to close the UKBA, said the change gave the government a valuable opportunity to consider a ‘new approach to asylum generally’ rather than make ‘cosmetic changes’ to existing processes.
The new approach should include the creation of a body qualified to decide on asylum applications that is separate from the enforcement responsibilities of the organisation that replaces the UKBA, the submission said.