This is just a quick note to update everyone that Cranston J has listed four cases for hearing on 25 and 26 February 2016 challenging the lawfulness of the Detained Asylum Casework (DAC)/ Detained Non-Suspensive Appeals (DNSA) system (i.e. the post- July 2015 incarnation of the system formerly known as the Detained Fast Track). The cases are Hossain (CO/5275/2015), Auleear (CO/4046/2015), TVC (CO/4572/2016) and MNK (CO/5615/2015).
Cranston J has stayed all “current and future” DAC JRs until Hossain is decided. Para 3 of his order in Hossain dated 4 February 2016 says:
“All other cases seeking to challenge the lawfulness of the DAC/DNSA process be stayed pending the resolution of the above set of cases. Consideration of permission to apply for judicial review will not then be considered in any case linked to the DAC cohort that is currently lodged in the Administrative Court Office or is to be lodged in the Administrative Court Office until the above set of cases has been dealt with.”
The four lead cases challenge the lawfulness of the DAC process, the DAC Interim Instruction, as well as issues arising in complex asylum claims, trafficking cases and cases relating to problems/ errors relating to rule 35.
The effect of Cranston J’s order is that clients who wish to challenge a DAC decision – e.g. the Secretary of State’s decision to conduct the substantive asylum interview; to refuse to grant further time for representations/evidence; to certify a claim processed within the DAC etc – must still continue to issue claims and obtain interim relief in the meantime. However, given that permission has specifically been granted on the generic grounds of challenge which allege that the operation of the DAC is unlawful, there is likely to be a compelling case for IR where there is particular evidence, brought to the SSHD’s attention, of vulnerability, complexity, trafficking indicators, or where there is a rule 35 report.
Solicitors are Toufique Hossain (Duncan Lewis) and Marcela Navarrete (Wilson Solicitors). Counsel team is Stephanie Harrison QC, Shu Shin Luh, Anthony Vaughan and Grainne Mellon, together with a team of colleagues from Garden Court and elsewhere.