Cooper, Lauren

Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Asylum Law
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Bernadette Rainey
Supervising school:
School of Law and Politics,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Accessing Justice for Asylum Seekers- The Welsh story.

My Masters dissertation will focus on data from England and Wales which I will use as a template for my PhD project focused solely on Wales.

I am looking at whether recent legal aid cuts (LASPO) have had an adverse impact on the asylum process. the project will include information on 3 stages;

  • Access to justice (ability to make the claim)
  • Outcomes (who makes it to court)
  • Family reunion (once awarded refugee status- as legal aid has been removed.)

I will be using a mixed methods approach; employing quantitative techniques to identify gaps in present data and allowing me to assess the current situation regarding Asylum Seekers’ access to justice; and qualitative techniques to start to fill this gap, highlighting what the statistics fail to show.


  • Secondary data analysis of immigration figures for England and Wales using data from:
  • Home Office
  • ONS
  • Court Services and
  • Charity figures (Asylum Justice, and Legal Resource Centre)


  • Interviews with key stakeholders, showing the impact that these cuts have had on real people. Examples of these stakeholders are:
  • Ambassadors for Asylum Justice
  • Representatives from Welsh Government (Welsh perspective)
  • U.K. Government- Legal Services Commission
  • Leading academics

I am adopting a sequential explanatory approach; firstly collecting and analysing the quantitative data, then the qualitative, using these results to help explain and interpret the quantitative data.