Shortage of judges hits immigration tribunals
A significant decline in the number of immigration tribunal judges is seeing a growing backlog of appeals.
Government figures show that in 2012 there were 347 fee-paid and 132 salaried judges in the first-tier tribunal. In 2016 there were only 242 fee-paid and 77 salaried. In the upper tribunal, a headcount of 40 fee-paid and 42 salaried judges in 2012 declined to 35 fee-paid and 42 salaried last year.
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.
Ramzan Sharif, Solicitor at Fountain Solicitors said “Delays in the immigration and asylum chamber have been extremely lengthy and in settlement cases over 15 months over the last 2 years and something needs to be done as it’s keeping families apart”.
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