Bail for Immigration Detainees recently obtained statistics from the Ministry of Justice on the number of bail applications that are made at different hearing centres, and the outcomes of those hearings. There is quite a disparity in outcomes. For example, once withdrawn cases are set aside, the percentage of bail applicants granted at Taylor House in Central London was 39%, compared to 17% for Hatton Cross in West London, 23% at Newport and 16% at Glasgow.
There are arguably reasons why we would expect to see a lower success rate at Hatton Cross. Applications from the nearby removal centres of Harmondsworth and Colnbrooke are heard at Hatton Cross, and it might be expected that fewer of those applications would succeed than the average. Nevertheless, I can’t help feeling that notorious bail refusers such as Mr Woodcraft at Hatton Cross are also playing their part in skewing the figures. I can’t immediately think of any reason other than a local judicial culture of refusing bail that might explain the low figures at Newport and Glasgow.
The outcome of bail applications appears to depend on the culture in the judge’s canteen at the local hearing centre, not just on the objectively judged merits of the application.
It is possible in some cases to exert control over which hearing centre an application for bail is listed at. It seems from these figures that a detainee wanting bail would do well to consider this.
This pdf has the full figures, which includes the percentages but also the sample size information, to help judge the significance of the figures.