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Do not lodge Upper Tribunal judicial reviews by post if urgent

Do not lodge Upper Tribunal judicial reviews by post if urgent

Following my previous post on Judicial review in the Upper Tribunal someone got in touch with a total horror story. She attempted to lodge a judicial review by fax to the Upper Tribunal. There was no initial response but on enquiry by telephone the next day she was invited to re-send by fax with an undertaking to pay the fee. However, this was a removal case. No written confirmation of issue was given until several days later. The client’s removal was therefore not suspended. The solicitor had to make an urgent injunction application at the High Court. The situation was fully explained and the order granted.

The urgent injunction would have been unnecessary if the Upper Tribunal had issued the application promptly but the the story does not end there.

The solicitor has now been sent a ‘show cause’ request by the High Court as to why she should not be spanked Awuku-style because, it is claimed, the Upper Tribunal do not accept judicial review applications by fax, which she “should have known”. In fact they did in this case and she was told by the Upper Tribunal to send by fax.

Until this all gets sorted out and some clear process guidance is given, immigration solicitors should be very cautious about how they issue judicial reviews in the Upper Tribunal. There is at least one very upset solicitor out there faced with potentially career-ending vigilante quasi-regulatory action by the High Court despite having done nothing discernibly wrong.

Colin Yeo
Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder and editor of the Free Movement immigration law website.

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