ROLE OF THE LAWYER IN
This document has been prepared
by the Refugee Council of New Zealand as a guide for detained refugee claimants.
It is intended to show claimants what their legal representative should
be doing for them while their claim is progressing through determination
at the Refugee Status Branch. While this document is only a guide, the
Refugee Council of New Zealand believes that it is a minimum standard for
lawyers to meet.
ROLE OF THE LAWYER IN PRESENTING REFUGEE CLAIMS
As a refugee claimant you
have the right to a lawyer. Your lawyer plays a very important role in
your refugee claim and you must make sure your lawyer is representing you.
You have the right to change your lawyer.
AT A MINIMUM A LAWYER SHOULD:
Have an interpreter at all meetings if English is not your first language or you do not speak English fluently.
Explain to you how your refugee claim will be processed: time frames, what will happen, who will decide etc.
Explain to you why you are detained and possibilities for your release.
Advise you of your entitlement to legal aid. Lawyers can get legal aid from the New Zealand government to help pay for your case. Legal aid is only granted to people who have a lawyer.
Prepare you for your interview with the Refugee Status Branch. You should write a statement in your language about your claim and your lawyer can arrange to have it translated. This should always be read back to you by an interpreter.
Obtain a copy of your file from the New Zealand Immigration Service and have it read back to you by an interpreter.
Talk to you about how you are feeling and arrange for you to see a doctor or other health professional if you wish to see someone.
Attend your Refugee Status Branch interview, make submissions on your behalf.