Brook House Inquiry hears from Panorama whistleblower

We are now in the second week of the public inquiry investigating the abuse of Brook House immigration removal centre residents in 2017. This week the inquiry will hear evidence from whistleblower Callum Tulley, whose undercover footage exposed a cult ...

29th November 2021 By

The Immigration Act at 50: is it still up to the job?

Today marks a significant date in the immigration lawyer’s calendar: it is 50 years exactly since the Immigration Act 1971 received royal assent. Free Movement staff have planned a party to celebrate the occasion (not).  The 1971 Act is the root of ...

28th October 2021 By

National security court backs refugee in secret ruling

There is little that can sensibly be said about RT v SSHD SN/72/2019, heard by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC). In making its decision, SIAC rejected all of RT’s grounds for judicial review, but found in his favour anyway on t ...

14th October 2021 By

Asylum seekers denied “essential living needs” during pandemic, finds High Court

In the case of JM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2514, the High Court has held that the government failed to cater for asylum seekers’ essential living needs during the pandemic.  The court found that JM, who was housed in ...

7th October 2021 By

Book review: Border Nation by Leah Cowan

The now notorious conclusions of the Sewell Report on race relations in the UK are no doubt at odds with the experiences of many in this country, in particular migrant communities. Surprisingly, however, the report didn’t comment on Britain’s immi ...

20th May 2021 By

Congolese man unlawfully detained for three and a half years

To a person in detention, particularly in prison, every day of freedom lost matters and the Defendant needs to be able to justify it. In this case I think that principle became lost to sight. So says the High Court in the case of Louis v Home Office [ ...

10th May 2021 By

Asylum support during the pandemic: the year in review

Barred from working and mainstream benefits, for many in the asylum system their only option for money and shelter is by requesting support from the Home Office. A year into the pandemic, the asylum support system has seen significant changes. This ar ...

16th March 2021 By

Lack of legal advice for migrants in prison ruled “discriminatory”

The High Court in SM v Lord Chancellor [2021] EWHC 418 (Admin) has held that free legal advice must be made available to immigration detainees held in prisons, bringing access to lawyers into line with the legal advice scheme operating in immigration ...

26th February 2021 By

Upper Tribunal guidance on credible documentary evidence

The Upper Tribunal in QC (verification of documents; Mibanga duty) China [2021] UKUT 33 (IAC) has given useful guidance on how to approach documentary evidence submitted by asylum appellants.  The tribunal has also clarified the circumstances in whic ...

23rd February 2021 By

Court of Appeal rejects lowering threshold for denying refugee status to extremists

How serious must a person’s “extremism” be to justify exclusion from the Refugee Convention? Three years ago, the Court of Appeal in Youssef & N2 v Secretary of State for the Home Department lowered the bar for exclusion from the Co ...

14th January 2021 By

Eight-month delay in sourcing bail accommodation “reasonable” during pandemic

In the case of Mahboubian v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3289 (Admin), the High Court decided that the Home Office couldn’t be held responsible for an eight-month delay in finding immigration bail accommodation for a high-r ...

14th December 2020 By

London authorities refuse to cooperate in targeting of rough sleeping migrants

This week Immigration Rule changes targeting rough sleeping migrants came into force. The Home Office has confirmed that the new Rules will not be enforced until official guidance is published, but the changes have been met with defiance across the bo ...

3rd December 2020 By

County Court takes dim view of Fast Track detainee’s false imprisonment claim

In Ali v Home Office EW Misc 27 (CC) [2020], the County Court robustly dismissed a false imprisonment claim brought by an Afghan refugee who was detained for 98 days under the Detained Fast Track process in 2015.  County Court cases are rarely report ...

3rd December 2020 By

Deporting gay asylum seeker a violation of Article 3, human rights court finds

In B & C v Switzerland (application no. 43987/16 and 889/19) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously held that the deportation of asylum seekers to countries where they risk persecution for their sexual orientation would violate the Art ...

19th November 2020 By

Online Right to Rent checks launch later this month

Right to Rent checks can be carried out online and in real time from 25 November 2020 onwards. Under the new scheme, landlords will be able to conduct checks on whether prospective tenants are permitted to rent using a Home Office webpage (not yet liv ...

9th November 2020 By

Wildly unlawful bail policy gets only minor tweaks, for now

The Home Office has released new interim guidance on the immigration bail accommodation system. The 15-page document introduces a couple of minor changes to address the High Court’s damning criticism of the department’s bail accommodation poli ...

4th November 2020 By

“Compassionate” Home Office targets rough sleepers, again

Following the failings identified by the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, Priti Patel promised a “compassionate… people first” Home Office. But over the past few months the Home Office seems to have entertained only the most inhumane imm ...

29th October 2020 By

Bail accommodation system ruled “systemically unfair”

The Immigration Act 2016 brought about extensive changes to the support available to people on immigration bail. Since those changes came into force in January 2018, tens of thousands of people have struggled against the harsh new system, which has ke ...

1st September 2020 By

“Alarming lack of oversight and accountability” at short-term holding facilities

The prisons inspector has recommended a national overhaul of the short-term detention system after an inspection of the Home Office’s 13 short-term holding facilities (STHFs). The report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons paints a picture of mism ...

25th June 2020 By

Judge intervenes to end Home Office dithering over bail accommodation

In the case of Merca v SSHD [2020] EWHC 1479 (Admin) the High Court ordered the Home Office to release the claimant within four days. One week and two extension of time requests later, the Home Office has now complied with that order. Mr Merca, detai ...

23rd June 2020 By

The Refugee Convention: who are refugees and asylum seekers?

This piece is about refugees, asylum seekers, and the Refugee Convention. It outlines who can be a refugee, and how being a refugee and having “refugee status” are two very different things. We also explore the rights and entitlements avai ...

5th June 2020 By

Immigration bail policy updated

The Home Office has updated its policy guidance on immigration bail, with a couple of changes to note. First, asylum seekers who have exhausted their appeal rights will no longer automatically be subject to study restrictions. This is the result of ...

3rd March 2020 By

Don’t clog up the Admin Court with damages claims, warns Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal in ZA (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 146 has made a plea to lawyers to transfer their wrongful detention claims to the Queen’s Bench Division or County Court once the detention issue h ...

17th February 2020 By

“Nothing inherently wrong” with healthcare system for vulnerable detainees in prison

The High Court has refused to extend key safeguards under the Adults at Risk policy to immigration detainees held in prisons. In MR (Pakistan) & Anor v Secretary of State for Justice & Ors [2019] EWHC 3567 (Admin), Mr Justice Supperstone decid ...

8th January 2020 By

Upper Tribunal: no reason to change Sudan country guidance

The Upper Tribunal in AAR & AA (Non-Arab Darfuris – return) Sudan [2019] UKUT 282 (IAC) has rejected a Home Office attempt to resume returns of non-Arab Darfuris to Sudan. The tribunal upheld its previous guidance, reaffirming the position t ...

20th September 2019 By

Immigration detainees must be given the “true reason” for their detention

A real mammoth of a case: R (HS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 2070 (Admin). The claimant took what looks like a kitchen sink approach to his unlawful detention claim, succeeding on the fourth ground: that he wasn’t gi ...

31st July 2019 By

Court of Appeal demands individual proportionality assessments for EU citizens detained pending deportation

The Home Office cannot detain an EU citizen pending deportation without first considering whether detention is “proportionate and necessary” under EU law, the Court of Appeal has said in R (Lauzikas) v Secretary of State for the Home Depar ...

15th July 2019 By

Court of Appeal quashes clearly unfounded certificate in Albanian asylum claim

This week the Court of Appeal quashed the certification of an Albanian asylum claim as “clearly unfounded”. In SP (Albania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 951, the court found that the Home Office had not properly inv ...

21st June 2019 By