New accreditation process singles out immigration lawyers

`They feel battered, bullied’: Mark Phillips

25th February 2010: Immigration lawyers feel battered and bullied, says Mark Phillips, chairman of the Law Society’s immigration committee. They feel they are being singled out and treated differently from other practitioners in the way they are accredited.

Phillip’s sentiments echo the general feelings of the immigration solicitors. They are concerned they have been singled out from other legal aid lawyers through the introduction of a new re-accreditation process.

The compulsory immigration and asylum accreditation scheme, administered by the Law Society, was launched in 2004. Under the scheme re-accreditation is required after three years.

The re-accreditation scheme was not put in place until January this year. But then, the solicitors received letters. They were informed they need to pass an examimation by July end, if they wanted to carryon work under the new civil contract that runs from October 2010.

The deadline for passing the re-accreditation process has since been extended to 31 March 2011.

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