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As some may have noticed, I’ve made a few minor changes to the blog in the last few days. I’ve added new pages about instructing the barristers here at Renaissance Chambers, both for solicitors and members of the public, and about contribu ...

8th February 2011 By

Doing the right thing?

I’ve just been in court doing yet another case where a solicitor has advised a client to do the ‘right’ thing and go abroad to make an application for entry clearance. This is common in spouse cases and I have myself advised clients ...

8th February 2011 By

Child asylum claims take LONGER to process

In what to me is a shocking development, we learn through the case of R (on the application of AO) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWHC 110 (Admin) (28 January 2011) that it actually takes the UK Border Agency longer to process a ...

7th February 2011 By

Children’s best interests after ZH (Tanzania)

The host of the UK Human Rights Blog, 1 Crown Office Row, is a chambers that claims “23 Attorney-General’s Panel counsel in 2010”. Sadly, the 2nd February article Analysis: Children’s “best interests” and the problem of balance ...

4th February 2011 By

Best interests of children: new Supreme Court case

The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in a major case on the best interests of children generally and the best interests of British Citizen children specifically. ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 4 fina ...

1st February 2011 By

Tribunal catch up

There have been a few quite interesting tribunal determinations recently, which I have overlooked for various reasons. I thought it was high time for a catch up, otherwise I’ll never force myself to sit down and digest them. MJB (Inability to pr ...

26th January 2011 By

Litigation, the law and UKBA

I gave a short presentation this morning to John Vine, the Chief Inspector of UKBA. I thought I’d share it with you. It lacks a certain something without my narration, I feel, but it at least gives you the gist. The presentation was based on ILP ...

18th January 2011 By

Detention of children

The routine detention of immigrant children by the last Government was a disgrace. Claimed changes to detention policy by the current incumbents and the recent case of R (on the application of Suppiah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [201 ...

14th January 2011 By

MoJ Proposals for legal aid cuts

With New Year Celebrations follow the dreaded New Year Resolutions, well for most of us anyway… And so this year, it is my task today to remind and urge as many of you as possible to respond within the consultation to the Green Paper proposing d ...

12th January 2011 By

2010 in review

Happy New Year to you all. May 2011 usher in a new era of sanity in UK immigration law and practice… WordPress, through whom this blog is hosted, have been kind enough to send me an automated email to report on 2010 – see below. I’m ...

4th January 2011 By

Jesus refused asylum: full decision letter leaked

Although not quite on the scale of Wikileaks, Free Movement can today publish a confidential leaked document from the UK Government. It is entirely in keeping with the traditional Home Office practice of bundling as many immigrants out of the country ...

24th December 2010 By

IJs should not raise mandatory refusals themselves

Many thanks to David Chirico for showing me this case (who I understand was in turn tipped off by Muhunthan Paramesvaran at Wilson and Co), and to Seema Farazi (of Doughty Street) for arguing it. Why it has not been reported, one can only speculate. A ...

23rd December 2010 By

Major case on section 55

I’m a bit behind the times at the moment for all sorts of reasons (giving up blog, lots happening in immigration law, having first baby) and this is one of the important cases that slipped under my radar while I was away. In the case of R (on t ...

22nd December 2010 By

Quila appeal succeeds!

The Court of Appeal has declared unlawful the application of the increased spouse visa age to the appellants in the Quila appeal. The judgment is available now: Quila & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 1482 (21 De ...

21st December 2010 By

Possible warning for tribunal?

Quick post to flag up a piece over on the HJT Training blog which may be of interest to Free Movement readers. It concerns a case where the High Court deals with the effect of a tribunal determination on those who were not parties to the case. In shor ...

21st December 2010 By

Round up

There have been two big developments in the last week or so: the ‘ending’ of child detention and the successful challenge to the temporary mad cap (as I link to think of it). On child detention, Alan Travis of The Guardian was clearly well ...

21st December 2010 By

Home Office waste

I thought I’d start putting together a list of the myriad ways in which the Home Office wastes money (mainly public funds, also private sometimes) in the small world of immigration. It makes my blood boil that legal aid is being brutally slashe ...

20th December 2010 By

David Burgess

I have struggled to write anything that would do justice to the late David Burgess, who died a few weeks ago. I cannot let his death pass without acknowledgement on this website, though. He died under an underground train and murder charges have been ...

15th December 2010 By

Sri Lankan fresh claims

Welcome to the first post on Free Movement not by freemovement! Several of us in the immigration team at Renaissance Chambers will be contributing posts to this blog in future, and this is the first effort. You may need to bear with us a little as we ...

10th December 2010 By

Doctors Ditched by Home Office

A doctor ‘is no longer considered an acceptable professional person’ by the Home Office. The quotation is taken directly from an email from a policy adviser in the UKBA Nationality Group. Doctors were quietly dropped from mention in the applicatio ...

10th December 2010 By

Settlement rules for spouses

[UPDATED: to include link to case] I won a case in the Upper Tribunal the other day that I think is worth sharing. Despite, or perhaps because of, the wide(ish) effect of the findings it seems unlikely to be approved for reporting by the UT’s sh ...

7th December 2010 By

Goodbye Woolas

It is a shame to come back on a sour note, but it is difficult not to be cheerful about the ruin of Phil Woolas, ex Immigration Minister. He has been stripped of his constituency, barred from standing for public office for three years and has earned h ...

5th December 2010 By

Future of Free Movement

I have decided that I will revive Free Movement in some shape or form in the near future, although not quite yet. There is just too much going on at the moment in immigration law to abandon the blog and I’ve been really touched and amazed by the ...

20th November 2010 By

Winding down

I have taken the surprisingly easy decision to wind down Free Movement. For reasons that continue to escape me and which have never been explained by John O, formerly of NCADC, he left that organisation in April 2010 and set up a website called, imagi ...

4th October 2010 By

New Immigration Rules laid

New Immigration Rules have just been laid in Statement of Changes CM 7944. The main change is that the English language requirement for spouses and partners has been introduced, as expected. It takes effect for new applications made on or after 29 Nov ...

1st October 2010 By

Zimbabwe removals still suspended

As recently as 14 September 2010 the Government’s position was that it is not enforcing returns to Zimbabwe. In a debate in the Commons on that day the following question and answer were given: Keith Vaz (Leicester East) (Lab): Given the critica ...

29th September 2010 By

Entry clearance deception refusals

Practitioners have seen a considerable increase in the number of applications for entry clearance that have been refused on the general grounds for refusal. The reasons are often opaque at best. Some simply refer to the contents of a Document Verifica ...

29th September 2010 By

New Zimbabwe fact finding report

UKBA has published a new fact finding report on the situation in Zimbabwe. It is, probably not by co-incidence, just in time for the new test case on Zimbabwe, due to begin on 20 October 2010 and in which the Immigration Advosory Service are again act ...

28th September 2010 By

New Iraqi Country Guideline case out

The tribunal has held that it is safe to return to Iraq. In HM and Others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2010] UKUT 331 (IAC) President Blake finds that The degree of indiscriminate violence characterising the current armed conflict taking place in Iraq is ...

23rd September 2010 By

Removals to Greece suspended

The Government has confirmed that removals to Greece under the Dublin II Regulation have been suspended pending the outcome of the test case. This comes following a number of recent news items on the calamity that is the Greek asylum ‘systemR ...

22nd September 2010 By

New policy on children

UKBA has published a new policy on dealing with children, specifically asylum applications by unaccompanied children. It went ‘live’ on 1 September 2010 and can be found with the earlier link or in the Asylum Process Guidance Special Cases ...

14th September 2010 By

Fees going up again

Substantial rises are set for most immigration fees on 1 October 2010, on the basis of the laughable justification that UKBA ‘want to ensure that we can offer a good level of customer service’. They also openly state that the increases are ...

9th September 2010 By

Adverts on Free Movement

It has come to my attention that Google Ads sometimes (or possibly always) show on Free Movement to those not already logged in as WordPress users – i.e. everyone except me sometimes sees Google Ads on my blog, basically. This blog is hosted mai ...

7th September 2010 By

Lions Led By Donkeys?

The tragic demise of Refugee and Migrant Justice, formerly known as the Refugee Legal Centre, leaves a gaping and unfillable void in the immigration sector. With its higher than average success rate and top notch training and nurturing programme for a ...

7th September 2010 By

New PBS cases

The tribunal has allowed two appeals on the basis that Pankina does not only apply to the three month rule and that all an applicant need do is comply with the requirements of the Immigration Rules themselves. See FA and AA (PBS effect of Pankina) Nig ...

6th September 2010 By

Immigration Judges and Migration Watch

I am back from my very pleasant holidays and thought I would kick off what feels like a new season with some juicy gossip. Many lawyers in the sector will know that ex immigration judges (then plain old adjudicators, in fact) Patricia Skitmore, John D ...

6th September 2010 By

Right to work for asylum seekers

UKBA has laid Statement of Changes CM7929 to give effect (or, at least, limited effect) to the judgment of the Supreme Court in ZO (Somalia) [2010] UKSC 36. This was the case in which the Court held that an asylum claim is still an asylum claim for th ...

23rd August 2010 By

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