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Free Movement forum coming soon


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Continuing in the spirit of innovation, the Free Movement legal forum will, all being well, launch next week. I’m seeking comments or feedback on the idea now before it goes live.

A Join the forum introductory page has been added to the menu bar for a preview of what is in store. This includes the rules and terms and conditions. There is no access to the forum itself yet as it will be for subscribers only. A subscription will cost £25 (or £50 for a shared log in email) and I haven’t enabled the online payment gateway, which will be by credit card, Paypal or Google Wallet.

The forum is designed to be as simple to administer as possible while also being user friendly and interactive. There is a fee because of the hosting and software costs and time costs involved in running this project and to deter members of the public and/or nutters from applying to join. A separate public forum may follow, though, if the project goes well. The fee structure needs to be simple to administer – different types of membership would start to become complex to manage. The sign up process involves paying first then being granted access because that is the best solution for screening members I could come up with using the software available.

At launch there will be five different forums where subscribers can post messages, reply and attach files for sharing:

News, gossip and rants
Comments and sharing of news items from the Wider World and any consequent ranting. Keep it legal and clean, though…

General immigration
All general immigration queries including family immigration, visitors and categories outside the Points Based System. If a topic does not fit somewhere else, this is the place to put it.

Asylum, human rights and detention
For all matters related to asylum, human rights and detention issues. This includes refugee, humanitarian protection, Articles 3 and 8 ECHR and all immigration detention and bail issues.
Article 8 family life cross over with the family immigration rules is probably better handled in the general immigration forum.

Business, commercial and Points Based System
All matters relating to the Points Based System including students, plus any other business or commercial immigration issues including sponsorship.

Support and suggestions
If you have support or help issues or have feedback or suggestions then post them up here and we’ll see what we can do.

More forums or sub forums can be added if warranted.

As it says on the Join the forum page, the intention is to create a private, progressive space in which immigration lawyers, campaigners, academics, students and select others can help one another and discuss any or all immigration, asylum, nationality and human rights law questions and policy. I hope that the messages can be discursive, open and helpful. It seems to me there is space in the sector for a modern, co-operative and interactive online community for lawyers. Let me know what you think. In particular, if anyone thinks this is a bad idea, now would be a good time to say so!

Lastly, something is bound to go wrong with something. Please be patient.

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Free Movement

The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


7 Responses

  1. Great initiative! I think you are right, this is the right time for a modern, cooperative and interactive online platform for lawyers – especially on immigration topics!
    Making it exclusive to members is the good way to start with. You really don’t want it to be good quality conversation and confidential – for the matters discussed.

    If you need any help on the tech side, we are a team of techies at Sharehoods happy to provide a hand :)

  2. Good on you Colin!
    The launch of the forum will prove to be a very useful tool for practitioners / students etc…
    I’m sure users will find it invaluable. My ability to keep up with the sheer pace of immigration and asylum law has been largely due to your efforts in providing regular and informative updates.
    Keep the flag flying!

  3. I understand the usefulness of restricting input to the forum, but any chance that non-specialists could have read-only access?

  4. Hi

    Given the hard work you have already put in on this it is probably too late, at least for your professional user forum, but for info bear in mind that on ilegal.org.uk we have begun offering autonomous user areas for groups, blogs, campaigns etc for free within the existing ilegal forum – dedicated space, private or public, access to all the features including internal email/private messaging etc

    We see lots of advantages in bringing like minds together, not least it saves people having to join and keep up with multiple forums/websites/groups etc

    We are currently trial testing one such space for a large national network of legal professionals and hope to have this live (and visible) in the next couple of weeks

    I mentioned it originally when we re-launched ilegal a few weeks ago (‘Future proof’ section) here: http://ilegal.org.uk/page/About

    Some of the features available:


    Anyway, it’s just something for the pot, especially if you were thinking of going ahead perhaps with a separate public forum at some point

    Good luck and if we can help in any way at any point just let us know


    1. Hi Patrick, thanks for checking in and your comment. I didn’t know we were on your radar. I’ve been thinking about how constructively to build on the wide readership Free Movement has in the immigration sector and I think the virtue of hosting forums here is that it is already a destination site for immigration lawyers. I like the idea of being under the same umbrella as other areas of related law but it would be very difficult to bring immigration lawyers over, I think.

      Perhaps there are ways we could work together, though, and there is certainly a need for cross over expertise between immigration and other areas – the problems of vulnerable clients are rarely neatly pigeon holed, as you know. I’m open to suggestion!