Jussbuss - casework

Jussbuss provides free legal aid in individual cases. We mainly offer oral guidance so that people can help themselves. In some cases we offer the client to get more involved in their case and act on their behalf. Jussbuss is divided into four groups, working with different legal areas. The topic of this article is how Jussbuss deal with our casework. The article is based on experiences from the casework within the immigration law group.

In Jussbuss, we receive new cases every Monday and Tuesday. Often people reach us by phone, but people may also come to our office to tell us about their case. We then register the case in our system and discuss whether their legal issue falls within the legal areas that we specialize in or not. If their legal issue falls outside of our legal areas, we try to get the client in contact with other organizations or other state authorities who are more likely to be able to help. If their legal issues is covered by our legal areas, we obtain all available documents in the case. We then evaluate whether to get involved in the case or not. Whether we decide to get involved in the case, depends on an overall assessment of the case.

In the immigration law section, people often get in contact with us after receiving a refusal from the Norwegian immigration authority. Most of the cases we receive, concern rejection of applications on family reunification, citizenship and expulsion. The first step in the case is to obtain the decision from the immigration authority. We then evaluate the decision and decide whether to appeal against the decision or not. If we decide not to appeal against the decision on behalf of the client, we still do a legal consideration of the case. We experience that our clients often do not understand the reason for the rejection of their application. Therefore, an important part of our work is to explain to our clients why their applications got rejected. In this way, our clients are better prepared if they decide to appeal another time.

If we do not agree with the immigration authorities application of law, Jussbuss normally appeals against the decision. As we are not lawyers, we cannot take the cases to court. Although, if the immigration authorities reject the complaint, we try to put our client in contact with a lawyer that is willing to accept the case pro bono.

Our casework constitutes the foundation of our work with legal politics. Through our casework we can identify weaknesses in the legislation and work towards changing the law. By changing the law we are able to help a larger amount of people.

Kristin Jovall Dahl