Law and Policy Clinic: Immigration

Immigration has been driving both population growth and economic development in the UK for decades. However, since the 1960s, successive waves of increasing migration controls have been implemented.

Primary page content

This Clinic gives students the opportunity to influence one of the major debates of our times.

New post-Brexit Immigration rules ended EU nationals’ free movement to the UK and implementing notable changes to the point-based system. The new framework is expected to produce labour shortages in occupations classified by the Governments as low-skilled while increasing number of foreign workers who will undertake higher-paid jobs.

The clinic explores key current immigration themes, seeking to situate them within the government’s overarching “hostile environment” approach – an ever-expanding set of administrative and legislative measures designed to impede migrants’ ability to obtain permanent lawful status in the UK and make living in the UK as difficult as possible for all migrants.

Topics addressed include:

  • Immigrants’ access to rights
  • Exploitation of low-skilled migrants
  • Poor decision-making and mistakes by the Home Office (including detention, wrongful deportations, unsubstantiated denials of residency and citizenship applications, raids on migrant businesses)
  • Integration difficulties, inequalities and discrimination experienced by both recent and second-generation immigrants

Various research and public engagement projects, many in collaboration with prominent migrant charities, enable students to meaningfully engage with such issues, critique shortcomings of immigration policies and make proposals for reform.

Aims and activities

The project is designed to give all Goldsmiths Students from Year 2 onwards the opportunity to get research and/or practice experience in the field of Immigration Law and policy.

The students taking part in the Clinic will have the choice to engage in four main areas:

  • Practical legal work in immigration cases
  • Advocacy
  • Academic research
  • Media engagement (podcasting, journalism, and much more)

Example of areas covered in the three areas include:

  • Researching Top UK immigration law and policy issues, and ongoing challenges in the application of migration policies
  • Human Rights implications of national and international immigration laws and policies
  • Publishing and disseminating the research in the form of thematic blog posts, news commentaries, policy briefings, and scholarly article contributions via the clinic’s website, external outlets, and partnership organisations
  • Collaborating on research, advocacy, investigation, strategic litigation and campaign projects with migration charities and NGOs
  • Supporting the delivery of educations and advice workshops to immigrants
  • Liaise with stakeholders engaged in migration issues
  • Attending lectures and training sessions by migration specialists

Career links

The Clinic complements the elective Immigration Law module in Year 2. It is of particular relevance to students aiming to follow a career in immigration law or policy, and will allow them to embed their classroom learning within professional legal skills.

The Clinic is open to students from other Goldsmiths departments.


Students who participate in the prescribed number of activities sufficient for them to complete the Clinic are awarded a certificate in an end-of-year special ceremony, where all student-teams engaged with the Law & Policy Clinic get the opportunity to present their work. Furthermore, those who also submit a self-reflective paper at the end of the Clinic will have their participation appear on their HEAR transcript.

Students successfully completing different branches of the Law & Policy Clinic will be given priority in potential applications to the Human Rights Law Clinic in the final year of their studies.


Marta Minetti

Marta Minetti

The Immigration Law Clinic is run and coordinated by Marta Minetti, Lecturer in Law at Goldsmiths, specialising in Immigration Law and Global Human Mobility. 

Marta’s Staff Profile


Joint Council for the Welfare of the Immigrant

For more than half a century, JCWI has been challenging policies that lead to discrimination, destitution, and the denial of rights. It provides much-needed legal and advice services to the people who need them most. It has helped tens of thousands of people secure their status, keep their families together and escape poverty. And it has consistently been one of the leading voices for a fairer, more just immigration system that works for everyone.

Students have been offered the opportunity to work with the Legal and Advocacy directors at JCWI and gather experience in

  • Legal assistance to clients at all stages of the legal process, including applications to the Home Office, Entry Clearance, Appeals, Judicial Review.
  • Be involved in numerous campaigns, including “Ending the Hostile Environment” and "Climate Justice is Migrants Justice”


EachOther is a UK-focused, award-winning Human Rights charity that uses independent journalism, storytelling, and filmmaking to put the human into human rights. The digital content they produce is grounded in the lived experience of ordinary people affected by human rights issues. 

Students who have worked on the projects, have been supervised by the Editor of the NGO, Emma Guy. Emma has a background in undercover and investigative journalism. For the last few years, she has co-created Investigation units for independent media outlets and produced investigative podcasts that lift the lid on injustices in the UK legal system. She is passionate about making investigations and human rights inclusive for audiences and works with grassroots movements and activists to do this.

Professor Sue Clayton

Professor Sue Clayton has worked for 24 years on refugee topics as a journalist, film maker, expert legal witness, advocate and academic. She produced two films that were used in the Immigration Courts and Judicial Reviews:

Hamedullah: The Road Home is about a UK Afghan child who was forcibly returned to Kabul at the age of 18, and has been submitted in over 50 appeals in the Immigration court to demonstrate that the returns policy is unduly harsh. 

Calais Children: a Case to Answer was made in the Calais Jungle and demonstrates serious failures of the Home Office to follow its own procedures in processing unaccompanied migrant children. This was submitted in ZS vs Home Office (2019). 

She also produced The Stansted 15: On Trial (2020) about the erosion of the right to peaceful protest.

Prof Clayton also works as a consultant to Duncan Lewis Solicitors Public Law Department, and directly with barristers at Garden Court Chambers, Matrix and Doughty Street Chambers.  She submitted expert witness evidence to the courts and to APPGs on asylum, refugee and human slavery issues.

She is also a consultant producer or Channel 4 News and ITV news.