Archives For News

New Home Office immigration bail guidance

I hadn’t seen this before, I confess, and it has now been updated. Flicking through it I notice there is a detailed section on licenses and Home Office duties regarding release addresses which is useful (some judges and HOPOs seem to think it is the detainees job to sort this out), theft is described as a “minor offence” on p22 (some judges and HOPOs seem to think it is serious, thus causing us to run out of English language words for offences that are genuinely serious ones), there is interesting material on surety checks, much of which is redacted, between £2,000 and £5,000 is regarded by the Home Office to be normally acceptable as a sum of recognisance (which needless to say is a lot of money, and far more than many detainees or sureties possess), the guidance is notably silent on the need to provide evidence to back up assertions made in bail summaries and there is a new section on the exercise of the decision to grant Home Office consent to bail if an immigration judge grants bail within 14 days of a date set for removal (a new provision under the Immigration Act 2014):

The power [to withhold consent] should only be exercised in exceptional circumstances, where for example, it is considered that the judge has not correctly weighed the high risk of absconding in coming to the decision to grant bail, or given enough weight to the public protection risk (if appropriate).

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This from Channel 4 News about the collapse of a huge “sham marriage” criminal trial:

But, when immigration officers were questioned in the witness box, it emerged that evidence had been tampered with or concealed, possibly destroyed, video footage had gone missing, and an investigation log had been doctored.

His Honour Judge Nic Madge brought the trial to halt a yesterday, saying “I am satisfied that officers at the heart of this prosecution have deliberately concealed important evidence and lied on oath.

This is the second major case revealing a course of dishonest conduct by immigration officials. The last one was that of Radha Patel, an innocent visitor to the United Kingdom who was awarded £125,000 damages for her treatment. Continue Reading…

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The National Audit Office has published a damning report on the UK’s deportation process today. The numbers of foreign criminals deported have actually declined since 2008-09 despite a tenfold increase in the number of staff dealing with these cases at the Home Office, from below 100 in 2006 to over 900 in 2013-14. What are they doing, one has to ask oneself? It was apparently only in 2012 that the Government started to take preventative measures to prevent foreign criminals entering the UK. Even today the UK remains outside critical European government intelligence networks.

The report follows a similar damning indictment in March 2014 of management of detention and deportation at the Home Office by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine (“Removals process revealed to be a shambles“). All the indications are there is some very serious mismanagement going on at the Home Office. That certainly matches with my own experiences: months at a time go by before anyone at the Home Office takes any action on a case and immigration bail is eventually granted to foreign criminals who cannot lawfully be detained any longer. Continue Reading…

Banksy immigration mural

So Banksy’s new immigration themed mural in Clacton — where Douglas Carswell has resigned as Conservative MP to stand in a by election for UKIP — has been destroyed by the local council before anyone else even knew it was there on the grounds that it was “offensive” and “racist”.

Stop the world, I want to get off now please.

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It tickles me that UKIP plan to scrap the EU agreement that permits the UK to return asylum seekers to other EU countries without considering their asylum claim. As it stands, this EU agreement, often referred to as the Dublin Convention or Dublin Regulation (not Treaty as UKIP seem to think), substantially reduces the number of asylum claims made in the UK. UKIP’s proposal is therefore perhaps the perfect example of a policy that would have the opposite effect to that intended.

It is also an ideal illustration of the problems with reciprocity the UK would face if seeking to withdraw from the European Union. Continue Reading…

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“It is noted that your former partner was born and raised in Jamaica. It is therefore considered that the children you have with her have Jamaican heritage and there would be nothing unduly harsh about them being raised within their own inherited culture.”Home Office civil servant, August 2014

I’ve left out the names. There were two children and both were born in Britain as British citizens. They can “go home” where they belong, though, as far as this civil servant is concerned.

Continue Reading…

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The government has issued guidance on how section 65 of the Immigration Act 2014 will be applied. Section 65 fills the gap for children of British Citizen fathers born before 2006 whose parents were/are not married.

The provisions will create a registration route for:

  • Those who would have become British citizens automatically under the 1981 Act provisions had their parents been married
  • Those who would currently have an entitlement to registration under the 1981 Act but for the fact that their parents are not married.

The guidance includes the standard requirements for proving paternity- named on the birth certificate within one year of birth or “other evidence” including DNA, Court orders or “other evidence that shows paternity”.

Section 65 has not yet been commenced. We are told this is because

The 2014 Act is being implemented in phases to ensure the provisions are brought into force in an orderly and effective manner.


Want to know more about the Act? Buy Colin’s ebook on the Immigration Act 2014:

£9.99 – Immigration Act ebook Includes 20% tax

Upper Tribunal immigration judge recruitment drive

So the Judicial Appointments Commission is seeking to recruit “up to 20″ fee paid Deputy Judges of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber and six salaried Judges of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber. The former are paid £595 per day for up to 30 days per year. The latter are paid £130,875.

Applications close noon 30 September 2014 if you are interested!

It seems all but certain that statutory appeal rights are to be curtailed from October 2014, and these new judges should be available as the corresponding increase in judicial review applications starts to take effect.

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Coming back from my break and looking through various updates, I was struck by a series of articles on citizenship and nationality laws in the event of Scottish independence following the vote this Thursday. Some of these seem to me fundamentally to misunderstand the independence process as it is likely to operate. Citizens of a newly independent Scotland would not generally retain British citizenship: that is the whole point of independence, after all. However, some Scots would qualify for dual citizenship of the new Scotland and the remainder or rest of the UK (‘rUK’).

In an article by Nick Barber appearing on the UK Constitutional Law Association blog and on the Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum it is suggested that Scots would be forced by rUK to make a choice between citizenship of rUK and citizenship of the new Scotland, and that dual citizenship would not be available. This seems to me to be extremely unlikely and to be based on a fundamental misunderstanding.

Continue Reading…