The percentage of immigration decisions being reversed by judges is at its highest on record, new statistics show. Exactly 50% of appeals to the immigration tribunal — mostly challenges to Home Office refusals to allow people to stay in the UK — now succeed.
While the proportion of appeals succeeding at the First-tier Tribunal had hovered just below this mark for some time, the third quarter of 2017/18 was the first time that the rate hit 50%. The official data goes back a decade, to 2007/08.
Human rights appeals were the most likely to be allowed, with a 57% success rate. The jump to 50% appears to have been driven by a spike in successful appeals in the “EEA Free Movement” category. Half were allowed in the relevant quarter, compared to 40% earlier in the year.
The percentages underscore the central role played by judges and the legal system in ensuring that immigration decisions are correctly made. They refer to the proportion of cases in which a determination was made, either after an oral hearing or on the papers. There were 12,400 cases so decided between October and December 2017.
Today’s figures, published by the Ministry of Justice, also show an increase in the number of appeals lodged in the first place. There were almost 15,000 case receipts in those three months, compared to 12,300 in the same period last year and 9,700 in the previous quarter. That is still a historically low figure when looking over the course of the whole decade, though.
The average appeal still takes about a year to be decided, MoJ statisticians said.