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Reminder: Law Commission consultation on simplifying the Immigration Rules closes next Friday

Date of Publication: 
26 April 2019
Summary: 

You still have time to respond and help make the Rules simpler and more accessible

Reminder: Law Commission consultation on simplifying the Immigration Rules closes next Friday

26 April 2019
EIN

The Law Commission consultation on simplifying the Immigration Rules is set to close next Friday, 3 May. The closing date has been extended from the original one of 26 April.

The consultation, which opened in January, is part of a project that aims to make the Rules simpler and more accessible to the user.

If you'd like to get your response in before the closing date, you can do so using the online platform here. The Law Commission recommends that consultees read the consultation paper before responding. The full paper, plus a shorter summary version, can be accessed from here.

While the Law Commission says responses to the consultation can also be made by email or post, it recommends using the online platform to enable your answers to be compiled more efficiently.

Answers posted on the online platform can be saved and returned to at any time, so you don't need to complete your response all in one go.

The Law Commission is also keen to remind anyone who wishes to respond that you don't need to respond to all of the questions. Indeed, you can choose to respond to just one part of the consultation or you can even choose to only respond to just one question.

In seeking the views of consultees, the Law Commission wants to identify the underlying causes of the complexity of the Immigration Rules in order to develop principles under which they can be redrafted to make them clearer and more comprehensible.

The Rules have consistently drawn sharp criticism for their complexity, including in a number of court judgments. Lord Justice Jackson said in Pokhriyal v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 1568 that the Rules "have now achieved a degree of complexity which even the Byzantine Emperors would have envied." In Singh v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 74, Lord Justice Underhill looked forward to a day when they would become more accessible, saying: "I fully recognise that the Immigration Rules, which have to deal with a wide variety of circumstances and may have as regards some issues to make very detailed provision, will never be 'easy, plain and short' (to use the language of the law reformers of the Commonwealth period); and it is no doubt unrealistic to hope that every provision will be understandable by lay-people, let alone would-be immigrants. But the aim should be that the Rules should be readily understandable by ordinary lawyers and other advisers. That is not the case at present. I hope that the Secretary of State may give consideration as to how their drafting and presentation may be made more accessible."