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Pilot Scheme for Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement Claimants

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Dear Security Bureau,

Could you please provide information on the following, for each 12-month period from launch of the “Pilot Scheme for Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement Claimants” (Pilot Scheme) to present-day:

(1) List of all lawyers and law firms under the Pilot Scheme.
(a) Please provide details on the respective selection process, including:
(i) The criteria for a firm to be listed under the Pilot Scheme;
(ii) The qualifications required for a lawyer/firm to be listed under the Pilot Scheme;
(iii) The registration process for firms/lawyers to be listed under the Pilot Scheme.

(b) Please specify the process of how lawyers are assigned to claimants, specifically:
(i) How lawyers are assigned to each case;
(ii) Whether the assignment of lawyer to claimant is wholly random.

(c) Please specify the content of the training for lawyers and firms, if any, the Pilot Scheme provides on areas of law relevant to non-refoulement claims in HK, including:
(i) The frequency of such training;
(ii) Topics that are covered.

(d) Whether there are supervision arrangements in place for the lawyers, including:
(i) Whether there is quality control in terms of work they produce, and if yes, how it is controlled;
(ii) Whether there is internal guidance, especially but not limited to guidance on working with vulnerable persons (e.g. children, people with mental health issues).

(e) Please provide a breakdown of the fee structure of the Pilot Scheme.

(2) Scope of services provided by the Pilot Scheme, including:
(a) Please specific the coverage of the Pilot Scheme, and specifically:
(i) Whether the Pilot Scheme provides publicly-funded legal assistance (PFLA) at the judicial review stage;
(ii) Whether claimants can approach the Pilot Scheme for help with the written signification;
(iii) Whether claimants can approach the Pilot Scheme before they attend the Immigration; Department’s briefing session (i.e. when claimants have submitted their written significations and expressed intention to apply for non-refoulement, whether they could approach the Pilot Scheme for assistance at that stage, and what the Pilot Scheme could help with);
(iv) Stages of Unified Screening Mechanism that the Pilot Scheme assists with (e.g. before the Immigration Department, on appeal, etc.)
(v) Whether, and if so, how, the Pilot Scheme obtains funding for experts, especially in relation to cases where medical experts are required.

(b) Whether the Pilot Scheme has any guideline/process in place for a claimant to obtain PFLA from a second lawyer if the first lawyer declines to assist further;
(i) If yes, please specify the procedures for a claimant to obtain a second lawyer;
(ii) If not, whether the Pilot Scheme offers any other assistance to help the claimant proceed with their claim. If so, please specify such assistance.

(c) Whether, and if so, what, the process is for a claimant to make complaints against a lawyer should there be any dissatisfaction by the claimant.

(d) Please specify the criteria for deciding whether or not to offer assistance to claimant, specifically:
(i) The average processing time for the Pilot Scheme to decide whether or not to assist with a claim;
(ii) Whether there, and if so, what, is a process for a claimant to request a second opinion/review for a negative Pilot Scheme application;
(iii) Please specify the criteria in the merits assessment process which determines whether claimant will be provided with PFLA at appeal stage.

(3) Please provide information on the following:
(a) Date of inception of the Pilot Scheme

(b) Number of claims that the Pilot Scheme has handled each 12-month period since their inception, disaggregated by:
(i) Number of individuals that they represented at first instance, and percentage of those claims they continue to handle on appeal;
(ii) Number of applications received to the number of applications accepted at first instance and appeal stages respectively;
(iii) Number of individuals who request a second opinion/review of their Pilot Scheme decisions, and of those who requested, number of individuals who were declined a second opinion/review;
(iv) Of those who requested a second opinion or review, the number of individuals who were provided PFLA through the Pilot Scheme.

Thank you very much for your assistance on this.

Yours faithfully,

Preston Cheung

Security Bureau

Dear Preston Cheung
This Bureau received your application for access to information on 2
August 2021.  Your application is now under processing.  According to
paragraph 1.16 of the Code on Access to Information, this Bureau will
inform you of the latest progress of the case on or before 20 August 2021.
 In the meantime, please contact me at 3428 3762 if you have any enquiry.

Regards,
Emily Tai
Security Bureau

From:        Preston Cheung <[FOI #706 email]>
To:        FOI requests at Security Bureau <[Security Bureau request email]>,
Date:        02/08/2021 18:34
Subject:        Freedom of Information request - Pilot Scheme for
Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement
Claimants

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Security Bureau,

Could you please provide information on the following, for each 12-month
period from launch of the “Pilot Scheme for Provision of Publicly-funded
Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement Claimants” (Pilot Scheme) to
present-day:

(1) List of all lawyers and law firms under the Pilot Scheme.
(a) Please provide details on the respective selection process, including:
(i) The criteria for a firm to be listed under the Pilot Scheme;
(ii) The qualifications required for a lawyer/firm to be listed under the
Pilot Scheme;
(iii) The registration process for firms/lawyers to be listed under the
Pilot Scheme.

(b) Please specify the process of how lawyers are assigned to claimants,
specifically:
(i) How lawyers are assigned to each case;
(ii) Whether the assignment of lawyer to claimant is wholly random.

(c) Please specify the content of the training for lawyers and firms, if
any, the Pilot Scheme provides on areas of law relevant to non-refoulement
claims in HK, including:
(i) The frequency of such training;
(ii) Topics that are covered.

(d) Whether there are supervision arrangements in place for the lawyers,
including:
(i) Whether there is quality control in terms of work they produce, and if
yes, how it is controlled;
(ii) Whether there is internal guidance, especially but not limited to
guidance on working with vulnerable persons (e.g. children, people with
mental health issues).

(e) Please provide a breakdown of the fee structure of the Pilot Scheme.

(2) Scope of services provided by the Pilot Scheme, including:
(a) Please specific the coverage of the Pilot Scheme, and specifically:
(i) Whether the Pilot Scheme provides publicly-funded legal assistance
(PFLA) at the judicial review stage;
(ii) Whether claimants can approach the Pilot Scheme for help with the
written signification;
(iii) Whether claimants can approach the Pilot Scheme before they attend
the Immigration; Department’s briefing session (i.e. when claimants have
submitted their written significations and expressed intention to apply
for non-refoulement, whether they could approach the Pilot Scheme for
assistance at that stage, and what the Pilot Scheme could help with);
(iv) Stages of Unified Screening Mechanism that the Pilot Scheme assists
with (e.g. before the Immigration Department, on appeal, etc.)
(v) Whether, and if so, how, the Pilot Scheme obtains funding for experts,
especially in relation to cases where medical experts are required.

(b) Whether the Pilot Scheme has any guideline/process in place for a
claimant to obtain PFLA from a second lawyer if the first lawyer declines
to assist further;
(i) If yes, please specify the procedures for a claimant to obtain a
second lawyer;
(ii) If not, whether the Pilot Scheme offers any other assistance to help
the claimant proceed with their claim. If so, please specify such
assistance.

(c) Whether, and if so, what, the process is for a claimant to make
complaints against a lawyer should there be any dissatisfaction by the
claimant.

(d) Please specify the criteria for deciding whether or not to offer
assistance to claimant, specifically:
(i) The average processing time for the Pilot Scheme to decide whether or
not to assist with a claim;
(ii) Whether there, and if so, what, is a process for a claimant to
request a second opinion/review for a negative Pilot Scheme application;
(iii) Please specify the criteria in the merits assessment process which
determines whether claimant will be provided with PFLA at appeal stage.

(3) Please provide information on the following:
(a) Date of inception of the Pilot Scheme

(b) Number of claims that the Pilot Scheme has handled each 12-month
period since their inception, disaggregated by:
(i) Number of individuals that they represented at first instance, and
percentage of those claims they continue to handle on appeal;
(ii) Number of applications received to the number of applications
accepted at first instance and appeal stages respectively;
(iii) Number of individuals who request a second opinion/review of their
Pilot Scheme decisions, and of those who requested, number of individuals
who were declined a second opinion/review;
(iv) Of those who requested a second opinion or review, the number of
individuals who were provided PFLA through the Pilot Scheme.

Thank you very much for your assistance on this.

Yours faithfully,

Preston Cheung

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a request under the Code of Access to Information facilitated via
the accessinfo.hk website.

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #706 email]

Is [Security Bureau request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information requests
to Security Bureau? If so, please contact us using this form:
[1]https://accessinfo.hk/en/change_request/...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[2]https://accessinfo.hk/en/help/officers

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
1. https://accessinfo.hk/en/change_request/...
2. https://accessinfo.hk/en/help/officers

Security Bureau

1 Attachment

Dear Preston Cheung
I refer to your email of 2.8.2021 requesting information about the Pilot
Scheme for Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for
Non-refoulement Claimants.  Please find our reply as attached.

Regards,
Emily Tai
Security Bureau

From:        SB-AIOREQ/SB/HKSARG
To:        Preston Cheung <[FOI #706 email]>,
Date:        11/08/2021 09:08
Subject:        Re: Freedom of Information request - Pilot Scheme for
Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement
Claimants

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Preston Cheung
This Bureau received your application for access to information on 2
August 2021.  Your application is now under processing.  According to
paragraph 1.16 of the Code on Access to Information, this Bureau will
inform you of the latest progress of the case on or before 20 August 2021.
 In the meantime, please contact me at 3428 3762 if you have any enquiry.

Regards,
Emily Tai
Security Bureau

From:        Preston Cheung <[FOI #706 email]>
To:        FOI requests at Security Bureau <[Security Bureau request email]>,
Date:        02/08/2021 18:34
Subject:        Freedom of Information request - Pilot Scheme for
Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement
Claimants

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Security Bureau,

Could you please provide information on the following, for each 12-month
period from launch of the “Pilot Scheme for Provision of Publicly-funded
Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement Claimants” (Pilot Scheme) to
present-day:

(1) List of all lawyers and law firms under the Pilot Scheme.
(a) Please provide details on the respective selection process, including:
(i) The criteria for a firm to be listed under the Pilot Scheme;
(ii) The qualifications required for a lawyer/firm to be listed under the
Pilot Scheme;
(iii) The registration process for firms/lawyers to be listed under the
Pilot Scheme.

(b) Please specify the process of how lawyers are assigned to claimants,
specifically:
(i) How lawyers are assigned to each case;
(ii) Whether the assignment of lawyer to claimant is wholly random.

(c) Please specify the content of the training for lawyers and firms, if
any, the Pilot Scheme provides on areas of law relevant to non-refoulement
claims in HK, including:
(i) The frequency of such training;
(ii) Topics that are covered.

(d) Whether there are supervision arrangements in place for the lawyers,
including:
(i) Whether there is quality control in terms of work they produce, and if
yes, how it is controlled;
(ii) Whether there is internal guidance, especially but not limited to
guidance on working with vulnerable persons (e.g. children, people with
mental health issues).

(e) Please provide a breakdown of the fee structure of the Pilot Scheme.

(2) Scope of services provided by the Pilot Scheme, including:
(a) Please specific the coverage of the Pilot Scheme, and specifically:
(i) Whether the Pilot Scheme provides publicly-funded legal assistance
(PFLA) at the judicial review stage;
(ii) Whether claimants can approach the Pilot Scheme for help with the
written signification;
(iii) Whether claimants can approach the Pilot Scheme before they attend
the Immigration; Department’s briefing session (i.e. when claimants have
submitted their written significations and expressed intention to apply
for non-refoulement, whether they could approach the Pilot Scheme for
assistance at that stage, and what the Pilot Scheme could help with);
(iv) Stages of Unified Screening Mechanism that the Pilot Scheme assists
with (e.g. before the Immigration Department, on appeal, etc.)
(v) Whether, and if so, how, the Pilot Scheme obtains funding for experts,
especially in relation to cases where medical experts are required.

(b) Whether the Pilot Scheme has any guideline/process in place for a
claimant to obtain PFLA from a second lawyer if the first lawyer declines
to assist further;
(i) If yes, please specify the procedures for a claimant to obtain a
second lawyer;
(ii) If not, whether the Pilot Scheme offers any other assistance to help
the claimant proceed with their claim. If so, please specify such
assistance.

(c) Whether, and if so, what, the process is for a claimant to make
complaints against a lawyer should there be any dissatisfaction by the
claimant.

(d) Please specify the criteria for deciding whether or not to offer
assistance to claimant, specifically:
(i) The average processing time for the Pilot Scheme to decide whether or
not to assist with a claim;
(ii) Whether there, and if so, what, is a process for a claimant to
request a second opinion/review for a negative Pilot Scheme application;
(iii) Please specify the criteria in the merits assessment process which
determines whether claimant will be provided with PFLA at appeal stage.

(3) Please provide information on the following:
(a) Date of inception of the Pilot Scheme

(b) Number of claims that the Pilot Scheme has handled each 12-month
period since their inception, disaggregated by:
(i) Number of individuals that they represented at first instance, and
percentage of those claims they continue to handle on appeal;
(ii) Number of applications received to the number of applications
accepted at first instance and appeal stages respectively;
(iii) Number of individuals who request a second opinion/review of their
Pilot Scheme decisions, and of those who requested, number of individuals
who were declined a second opinion/review;
(iv) Of those who requested a second opinion or review, the number of
individuals who were provided PFLA through the Pilot Scheme.

Thank you very much for your assistance on this.

Yours faithfully,

Preston Cheung

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a request under the Code of Access to Information facilitated via
the accessinfo.hk website.

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #706 email]

Is [Security Bureau request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information requests
to Security Bureau? If so, please contact us using this form:
[1]https://accessinfo.hk/en/change_request/...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[2]https://accessinfo.hk/en/help/officers

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
1. https://accessinfo.hk/en/change_request/...
2. https://accessinfo.hk/en/help/officers

Dear Ms Tai,

Thank you for your reply dated 20 August 2021.

Pursuant to paragraph 1.15 of the Code on Access to Information, could you please provide a copy of the current list of lawyers listed under the Pilot Scheme for Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement Claimants?

Thank you for your assistance on this.

Regards,
Preston Cheung

Dear Ms Tai,

I refer you to my follow-up request dated 23 August as enclosed below.

Pursuant to paragraph 1.15 of the Code on Access to Information, could you please provide a copy of the current list of lawyers listed under the Pilot Scheme for Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement Claimants?

Thank you for your assistance on this.

Regards,
Preston Cheung

Security Bureau

Dear Preston Cheung,

Preceding replied email had already sent out to your given email address
<[FOI #706 email]> on 31.8.2021 but can't success,
due to 1 day after an email 'DELIVERY FAILURE' received.  I had tried
again resend on 1/9, 2/9 and 3/9, but still unsuccess to send out.  Please
see our reply as below, thanks.

Security Bureau

=== Original reply message sent on 31.8.2021==========

From:        SB-AIOREQ/SB/HKSARG
To:        Preston Cheung <[FOI #706 email]>,
Date:        31/08/2021 08:40
Subject:        Re: Freedom of Information request - Pilot Scheme for
Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement
Claimants

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Preston Cheung

        I refer to your email  on 23.8.2021 requesting a copy of the
current list of  lawyers listed under the Pilot Scheme.  

        As the list of lawyers contains the personal data of the lawyers
concerned, it cannot be disclosed to you without the express and voluntary
consent of the data subjects. For the reason set out in paragraph 2.15 of
the Code on Access to Information, I regret that your request cannot be
acceded to.

Regards,
Emily Tai
Security Bureau

From:        Preston Cheung <[FOI #706 email]>
To:        FOI requests at Security Bureau <[Security Bureau request email]>,
Date:        23/08/2021 18:45
Subject:        Re: Freedom of Information request - Pilot Scheme for
Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for Non-refoulement
Claimants

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Ms Tai,

Thank you for your reply dated 20 August 2021.

Pursuant to paragraph 1.15 of the Code on Access to Information, could you
please provide a copy of the current list of lawyers listed under the
Pilot Scheme for Provision of Publicly-funded Legal Assistance for
Non-refoulement Claimants?

Thank you for your assistance on this.

Regards,

Preston Cheung

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Preston Cheung please sign in and let everyone know.