SCOTLAND’s Lord Advocate paid a visit to New College Lanarkshire students last week to discuss an upcoming project in collaboration with the Crown Office.
The RT Hon Frank Mulholland QC met with HND Legal Services students from the College’s Motherwell campus to discuss the project, which aims to provide asylum seekers and refugees living in Scotland a guide to the laws which will affect their everyday lives.
Over the course of nine months, the students will research and develop a comprehensive resource that will clearly identify laws which will be of relevance to people arriving in the country. Mr Mulholland said:
“Many refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland have come from regimes where there is no rule of law and little trust in authority. I want refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safe and peaceful lives.
“To help them do that it, it is very important that we give them the information about how our laws work. This will ensure that they gain the trust in our institutions and do not inadvertently fall foul of the law.
“The law students at the college will be undertaking a very valuable piece of work and I I look forward to seeing the booklet next year.”
The Lord Advocate was joined at the meeting by members of Police Scotland along with representatives from the Scottish Refugee Council, who will act as mentors to the students throughout the project.
The group discussed the various laws that refugees and asylum seekers may not be aware of when arriving in the country, and the students were advised on how to make the document a comprehensive resource, which will be translated by the Crown Office into multiple languages upon completion.
They also decided on a name for the project – ‘Project Safe: Laws keep us safe, let’s keep you safe’.
Second-year HND student, John Paul Banks, from Holytown, said:
“At this stage in my studies, it is both a great honour and a privilege to have been asked to work alongside the Lord Advocate on this project.
“Project Safe will have a huge impact on the lives of so many, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of it.
“Working alongside the Lord Advocate and representatives from the Crown Office on a personal basis will be a fantastic addition to my CV and will make us stand out from other applicants as we apply to go onto university or a career in law.
“I can’t wait to get started on the project and help shape the future for refugees and asylum seekers.”
The Motherwell Campus of New College Lanarkshire offers courses in law and legal services ranging from NQ to HND level, and often provide opportunities for students to meet with high ranking members of the sector. Mr Mulholland previously visited the students in February 2015 to share insights about his extensive career in law.