The objectives of ILPA are

  • to promote the advising and representation of immigrants,
  • to provide information to members and others on domestic and European immigration, asylum and nationality law,
  • to secure a non-racist, non-sexist, just and equitable system of immigration, asylum and nationality law practice.

These are set out in full in ILPA’s Memorandum and Articles of Association

A brief history of ILPA

The inaugural meeting of ILPA took place in the House of Commons on 12 July 1984, the date on which ILPA published its first bulletin for members.  Subcommittees were formed: an international committee, a committee on secondary immigration and a committee on refugee and asylum law, rapidly followed by committees on employment and immigration, the European Economic Community and on deportation.  ILPA embarked upon its influencing work, submitting evidence to the House of Commons sub-committee on Race Relations and Immigration and entering into correspondence with the Home Office, with whom meetings were held.  ILPA successfully persuaded parliament to reject provisions of the Administration of Justice Bill 1984 that would have restricted immigrants’ rights of appeal to the Court of Appeal in cases where an application for judicial review had been refused.  A training programme was established, which complemented panel discussions for members.

The first Annual General Meeting of the Association was held on 13 December 1984 when the first Executive Committee was elected and provision was made for regional subcommittees to be established.  ILPA became a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee in 1989.

The objects of the Association have stood the test of time and ILPA’s activities today would be recognisable to those present in 1984.  ILPA members continue to come together to promote excellence in immigration, asylum and nationality law practice and to organise as working groups (formerly ‘subcommittees’). Training and the dissemination of information have remained ILPA’s core activities and both are highly valued by the profession.  ILPA’s bulletin is recognisable in the respected Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law  and in the detailed weekly updates to all members. The tradition of successful work with parliament has continued, as has that of raising and discussing concerns and criticisms directly with officials.   Despite the many changes in law and procedure between then and now, the range of concerns raised by practitioners is still recognisable and their commitment to working for the rights of refugees and migrants remains unflagging.

ILPA became a registered charity in January 2014.  The Executive Committee became the Committee of Trustees.