Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Legal representation for people seeking asylum

In March 2014, the Federal Government made sweeping cuts to legal assistance for people seeking asylum.

Our legal system is the only process that people who seek asylum have to make their claim for protection. The result can be the difference between life and death. Without lawyers, people have to represent themselves in a complex foreign legal system in a language that they may not speak.

People who arrive with a valid visa have access to assistance for the initial application, but not if they wish to appeal the decision. For those who arrive without a valid visa, the situation is even worse. For most of these people, there is no access to government assistance.

Without proper legal representation, how can we be confident that the process is fair?

To call on the Government for change, RAP launched ‘Fair Go 4 Refugees’, a short video video highlighting the challenges refugees face in accessing the Australian legal system. The campaign was supported by leading Australian refugee organisations including the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre and Refugee Advice & Casework Service.