Following a nine month pro-bono project with BPP Legal Translation Service, Bail for Immigration Detainees’ (BID) handbook ‘How to Get Out of Detention’ was today published in eighteen languages. 

The 63 page self-help guide for detainees is now available in Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Dutch, European Portuguese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Malay, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Urdu.

Casework volunteer Avin with the How to Get Out of Detention notebook

'How to Get Out of Detention' is an invaluable resource for detainees and their representatives. The handbook aims to break down the UK’s complex bail law into simple terms to empower detainees to secure their own release from detention. It does what it says on the tin and guides readers through four routes out of detention: Home Office bail, bail from an immigration judge, bail from the High Court and a successful immigration case. It provides answers to key questions from ‘Why am I in detention?’ to ‘Who can be a financial guarantor/supporter?’ as well as providing a sample of the B1 bail application form, a template for writing grounds for bail, an explanation of what to expect at a hearing and a list of important contacts.

Prior to the legal aid cuts of 2012, which removed immigration matters from the scope of legal aid, BID’s legal advice survey showed that 59% of those held in immigration detention had a legal representative funded by legal aid. BID’s latest legal survey from December 2018 shows this figure has more than halved and now stands at just 28%. The situation is worse still for those held in prisons under immigration powers, as there is no provision of immigration legal advice in prisons. The notebook is part of BID’s strategy to address the shortfall in legal aid and provide the tools to get out of detention to as many people as possible.

BID is an independent charity that exists to challenge immigration detention in the UK. Its vision is of a world free of immigration detention, where people are not deprived of their liberty for immigration purposes. Last year, BID supported 5,941 people to fight for their freedom. This included 167 parents separated from their 322 children and thousands of vulnerable adults including those with severe mental and physical health conditions and victims of torture, trafficking and sexual violence.

Caulyn, one of BPP’s student directors coordinating the translations, said: 

“The ‘How to Get Out of Detention’ handbook translation project was a massive one which required effort from a huge team to produce as many versions as possible. BPP Legal Translation Service was founded on the vision to overcome language barriers which hinder access to legal advice or information. 

Distress faced by the detainees is beyond imagination. On behalf of the LTS, we hope that the handbooks will be able to provide quick and accurate access to information relating to the legal rights of detainees. By breaking down language barriers, detainees will hopefully now take a closer step to justice."

Pierre Makhlouf, BID’s Assistant Director, said:

“We are extremely pleased to publish 18 translations of BID’s Notebook on How to Get Out of Detention. The translations have been carried out by volunteer students at the BPP University and required language and legal skills and the pro bono volunteer time by all who have helped us on this project. We are thankful for all their tremendous help. Delivering legal services to the people that we help in their own languages is an ambitious aim and we are extremely pleased to have been able to achieve this 18 times over on this occasion.”

Access the translations 

Categories: Access to Justice, Guidance, Publications
Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) is a registered Charity No. 1077187. Registered in England as a Limited Company No. 03803669. Accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner Ref. No. N200100147. We are a member of the Fundraising Regulator, committed to best practice in fundraising and follow the standards for fundraising as set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.
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