Last week the Court of Appeal heard the Home Office appeal in the spouse visa minimum income case. The judges heard argument over two days and did not give a decision there and then. The timescale for a decision is unknown but is likely to be weeks rather than months. Continue Reading…
Happy birthday Free Movement
The first blog post on Free Movement was on 7 March 2007. Yet again, I managed to miss the blog’s birthday! The spanking post was perhaps a suitable commemoration, though: a serious topic covered with a frivolous headline.
Since 7 March 2007 there have been:
- 3,048,451 visits to Free Movement
- 921 Free Movement blog posts
- 4 Home Secretaries
It is also a year since the Forum launched. There are something like 300 users (the automatic stats seem to double count some people and I’m not going to tot them up manually to check), 300 topics and just over 1000 replies.
There have been some very good posts on Free Movement by colleagues past and present and, looking ahead, we plan to transfer the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Law Bulletin to Free Movement, I am mulling over the possibility of hosting audio podcasts (the first test one is here for Forum users) and I am also considering hosting a subscription-style CPD service. If you have any thoughts about the podcasts and/or CPD I’m very interested, leave a comment or drop me a line.
Thanks for reading and for your support.
Sir Brian Leveson has made clear in the case of R (On the Application Of Butt) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 264 (Admin) that he intends to follow his predecessor as President of the Queens Bench Division, Sir John Thomas, in chastising immigration solicitors perceived to have breached their duty to the court in their conduct of urgent removal injunction applications:
It should not be thought that the approach which the then President initiated has in any sense fallen into desuetude following his appointment as Chief Justice. Continue Reading…
What is a radical lawyer? What I mean by it are those lawyers whose actions and attitudes were largely motivated by a political ideology – socialism and further left; or at least angry lawyers dedicated to fundamental changes to the law, its institutions and the legal system. They were fearless in putting their often unpopular views across, and it was their badge of honour to be criticised intemperately by others in the legal system. I frequently used to hear vile, unprintable, almost hysterical remarks made about leftie lawyers; I have seen judges in court barely able to speak civilly to the likes of Michael Mansfield, such was their hatred of him and the threat they thought he represented to the good order of the law. It often took a lot of courage for radical lawyers to speak up on behalf of their clients, not least because their own professional bodies were equally suspicious of them, ready to pounce on and punish any minor lapse of professional conduct… Continue Reading…
Syrian asylum seekers rejected, detained and removed in 2013
A Parliamentary written answer yesterday revealed that of the Syrians that managed to get to the UK to claim asylum in 2013, 24 were forcibly removed and a further 20 remain in immigration detention today. That seems to me truly shocking. It certainly gives lie to the UK Government’s hollow claim to a humanitarian approach to Syrians affected by the crisis. Who or what are the people at the Home Office that make these decisions?
In Hiri v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 254 (Admin) the Administrative Court found for the Claimant in an application for Judicial Review of the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse naturalisation on grounds of ‘good character’. The judgment provides useful judicial comment as to how the Secretary of State must approach assessments of an applicant’s character by reference to her policy and otherwise. The Secretary of State’s policy on ‘good character’ has undergone several iterations since the justiciable decision in this case; however, the utility of Mrs Justice Lang’s remarks reach beyond the relevant policy in Hiri and bears application to the Secretary of State’s broader approach to these cases. Continue Reading…
The Upper Tribunal has in a new judgment [R (on the application of Kumar & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (acknowledgement of service; Tribunal arrangements) (IJR)  UKUT 104 (IAC)] now set out how it will deal with the vast majority of judicial reviews in which the Home Office fail to provide a timely Acknowledgment of Service. The ruling almost entirely follows the form anticipated in our blog post following the hearing.
The most surprising feature of the final form of the judgment is that, despite a pretty clear indication at the hearing that these ‘special arrangements’ would have a clear end date following which the ordinary rules would apply, upon reflection this has been watered down to keeping the arrangements ‘under regular review’. Despite the commitments made in Singh, and further claims before the hearing to be getting to grips with the backlog and that further improvement would soon follow, the Tribunal treated the promises of progress with some scepticism, and the Home Office was constrained to accept that the reality is that delays will continue for many months. Continue Reading…
As of 1 October 2013 there is a new formal mechanism for making complaints about judges. The process is set out in the Judicial Conduct (Tribunals) Rules 2013. A colleague alerted me to these rules and a recent comment on the blog persuaded me that it is worth highlighting them here. Continue Reading…
Expediting an EU residence card application
It is possible to request expedition of an EU residence card application where it has been outstanding for over three months. See the European Casework Instructions at Chapter 10 for details. There are also other potential justifications for speeding things up, including being unable to make journeys necessary for compassionate or business reasons on existing documents, being elderly (i.e. 65 or over) and showing that an EEA document is needed for a particular job.