§ Mr. Mark Carlisle
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what changes he proposes to introduce in the immigration appeals system following consideration of comments on the discussion document "Review of Appeals under the Immigration Act 1971."
§ Mr. Brittan
The primary aim of the Government's review was to identify ways of reducing the unacceptable delays in the appeals system. Over the period of the review, however, delays have been greatly reduced. At the end of November 1984 the number of appeals awaiting hearing was about 9,500 compared with 16,350 at the end of 1979, and the average delay in the hearing centres was reduced, over the same period, from 14 months to three to four months. The objective of the review has therefore largely been achieved. We do not propose at this time to introduce any changes in rights of appeal, for example for illegal entrants before removal, although this will be 561W considered when a suitable opportunity presents itself to amend the Immigration Act 1971. In the meantime there are a number of minor and tidying up changes which it is proposed to make to the Immigration Appeals (Procedure) Rules 1972 and the Immigration Appeals (Notices) Regulations 1972; and revised rules and regulations, both of which are subject to negative resolution of both Houses, will be laid shortly. These changes have the support of the appellate authorities.