Lawyers deterred from writing ‘manifestos’ over changes in asylum and immigration rules

Lawyers deterred from writing 'manifestos' over changes in asylum and immigration rules

A judge has warned that lawyers concerned about changes to the way in which asylum, immigration and citizenship cases are run in the High Court should avoid writing “manifestos” The Irish Times reports.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said that if solicitors and barristers want to discuss the rules, detailed in a practice direction published before Christmas, his “door was open” and that “if we don’t work something out you can issue your manifestos then”.

Addressing the judge in court, Colm O’Dwyer SC said clarifications he had issued on Friday were welcome and had been “significant in some areas”.

Mr Justice Humphreys said the practice direction had followed three cases last year involving concerns about proper disclosure to the court and that it had been prepared following a consultation process with senior lawyers on both sides.

Under the direction, there are new obligations for solicitors as concerns producing certain information about their clients and their clients’ families.

They are under a “duty of inquiry” which is aimed at ensuring the courts have “the most accurate version of events possible”.

In one of the cases cited by Mr Justice Humphreys, the court ordered that the solicitor of a Polish man who resisted deportation should pay the Minister of Justice’s costs.

A subcommittee of the Law Society’s Human Rights Committee is due to consider the issue this week, Director General Ken Murphy said.

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