Observer, bail application hearings at Bail Observation Project

Be an observer of, record and report on proceedings at bail application hearings at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal

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(9AM - 1PM)
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Afternoon
(1PM - 5PM)
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Evening
(5PM - 8PM)
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Hours per week 3 hours
Location Asylum and Immigration Tribunal Taylor House, 88 Rosebery Ave, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QU
Description

By participating in scrutinising the workings of the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, you will be contributing to improving access for justice and freedom for people who are in a very vulnerable situation - some of the 3,000 imprisoned at any one in detention centres in the UK, i.e. those who apply for bail.


The aim of the Bail Observation Project (BOP) is to scrutinise bail hearings at the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and to propose ways in which they can be improved. Applying for immigration bail is an important avenue for people held in detention centres in the UK to secure their freedom. The system of immigration.

The Bail Observation Project (BOP) was established in 2010 by volunteers out of concerns about the immigration bail process and much anecdotal information pointing to serious flaws in it. Our findings from a total of 327 observations of bail hearings showed that even the Home Office’s own instructions, rules and guidelines were not followed in many cases; also that the system itself denies justice to detainees in a range of ways.

Our two reports, Immigration Bail Hearings: A Travesty of Justice? Observations from the Public Gallery (2011) and Still a Travesty: Justice in Immigration Bail Hearings (2013) were widely circulated. 
 
Despite initial negative responses from the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT), two of our proposed reforms have now been adopted by the judiciary. Immigration judges’ Reasons for Refusal of bail are now typewritten not handwritten form as previously, and the judiciary (not yet the administration) of the AIT agrees that it is desirable to have an audio recording of the entire proceedings of all bail hearings.
 
We want to build on these results to encourage others to observe bail hearings, and so expose injustice and infringements of human rights (and any good practice). We believe our reports show that we require root and branch reform of a fatally flawed system.
 
We believe justice has to be seen in order for it to be done. But in the 327 bail hearings we observed, we did not see a single other member of the public in court apart from ourselves and the parties to the application. There was little public knowledge of what really goes on, including amongst MPs.
 
The situation is now improving, thanks to mainly law students conducting observations of bail hearings and publishing their findings on our website. So, your work will be part of a movement to put pressure on the system for improvements.
 

This opportunity will assist you in gaining the following skills:

  • Teamwork
  • Planning/Organising
  • Analytical/Research

Training will be provided by the organisation for this position:

We provide one or more sessions with a group of volunteer observers.
We describe the way of working of the Bail Observation Project.
We introduce some limited vital background reading.
We help volunteer observers discuss and decide what aspect of bail hearings they wish to focus on.
We attend the volunteer observers' first hearings.

About you

The organisation has indicated the following requirements from volunteers who want to take this opportunity.

Essential: Attend training, attend, observe and write up reports on at least one half day of bail hearings.

Desirable: Plan the observations with fellow observers, and write up a group report to be published on bailobs website.

Interested?

Submit your info to this organisation today.

Register now!