Shortage of Judges Hits Immigration Tribunals

The Law Society Gazette has reported on the enormous backlog in the immigration tribunals being caused by a shortage of judges, warning that it could herald a crisis.

Government figures show that in 2012 there were 347 fee-paid and 132 salaried judges in the First-Tier Tribunal.

In 2016 this had reduced to 242 fee-paid and 77 salaried.

Official figures show there were 62,903 outstanding cases in the First-Tier Tribunal at the end of the third quarter last year, up 20% on the same period in 2015.

The age of a case at disposal was 48 weeks between July and September 2016, 15 weeks longer than the same period in 2015.

This will come as no surprise to those impacted by poor immigration decision making at the Home Office who are awaiting the listing of their appeals.

Many clients are waiting approximately one year and sometimes even longer to have their day in court.

This can be incredibly frustrating, particularly where the Home Office decision has been so blatantly wrong that no independent judge could possibly agree with it.

The Justice minister Sir Oliver Heald has said the ministry was doing everything it can ‘to avoid unnecessary delay’ in the immigration and asylum tribunal.

This offers little consolation for many in Britain today, especially those who have been separated from loved ones for years as a result of such delays and those who continue to be detained whilst appealing against their deportation.

Source: Shortage of judges hits immigration tribunals,  Diary of an Immigration Lawyer, is a blog run by Fahad Ansari, the director and principal solicitor of Riverway Law, a niche UK immigration and nationality law practice based in London.  If you would like any advice or assistance in relation to your immigration matter, please do not hesitate to email me at or submit your details here.

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