SOAS University of London

School of Law

SOAS Detention Law Clinic

The SOAS Detention Law Clinic was established in September 2018 at the SOAS School of Law. The Clinic provides pro bono legal representation to immigration detainees in the UK to enable access to justice and secure their release from immigration detention.  

The SOAS School of Law was motivated to establish the Clinic due to its commitment to promoting equality, diversity and tolerance not just on campus, but also in the wider community. The SOAS student body has an established history of campaigning for the rights of migrants and asylum seekers including the right to liberty for individuals held in detention. Through the Clinic, the SOAS School of Law will build upon this commitment by facilitating expert pro bono legal representation to improve access to justice and promote the rule of law in the system of immigration detention.  

At the Clinic, law students work with an established barrister at the SOAS School of Law to prepare applications for bail and draft legal advice for the benefit of vulnerable detainees including individuals applying for refugee protection in the UK. Clinic sessions are held on campus at the SOAS School of Law on a weekly basis. The Clinic also collaborates with external law firms, law centres and NGOs to foster effective working relationships in the field of migrant and refugee rights.   

In addition to providing pro-bono legal representation to immigration detainees, the Clinic combines innovative clinical teaching methods and research-based learning to equip students with practical skills for becoming a lawyer. Students volunteering with the clinic are empowered to make a real difference to individual’s lives , advocate for migrant and refugee rights and gain insight to a career in law and human rights.

The Clinic was established in 2018 through a grant to the SOAS School of Law from the Access to Justice Foundation which was set up the Bar Council and Law Society and supported by the Judiciary, the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General's Office. The Clinic can be contacted by email on detentionlawclinic@soas.ac. uk