What is happening with the Detained Asylum Casework challenge?
Following the last post on FM on this, Cranston J heard argument from the Claimants on 25 and 26 February 2016 but, having done so, adjourned the hearing, on the application of the Home Office, on the grounds that the SSHD was not ready to proceed. A case management hearing then took place on 10 March 2016 at which a further two days were set aside on 22 and 25 April 2016.
Cranston J maintained the stay of proceedings he had imposed on all claims for judicial review challenging the lawfulness of the Detention Interim Instruction and associated policies. However, he also ruled that, pending judgment in Hossain & others, all new applications for judicial review pleading this ground, and including an application for interim relief, would automatically trigger suspension of the DAC process in the particular claimant’s case until the Court had decided the application for interim relief. The relevant part of the Court’s Order dated 24 March 2016 reads:
8. Pending handing down of the Court’s Judgment in these claims, where an application for judicial review and interim relief is made and lodged with the High Court challenging the lawfulness of the Detention Interim Instruction and the processing of the claim for asylum in detention and where proof of the filed application is provided to the Defendant
a. the Defendant shall be restrained from continuing to process the claim for asylum in detention including conducting any substantive asylum interview for 7 days or until receipt of the decision on interim relief;
b. where such interview has already taken place, the Defendant shall be restrained from making a decision on the asylum claim in detention for 7 days or until receipt of the decision on interim relief.
c. Any such application lodged with the High Court will be brought to the attention of Mr Justice Cranston in the form of a list.
9. The Court shall determine the interim relief application within 7 days, or earlier if possible.
Therefore, in any case challenging the lawfulness of the Interim Instruction, the Home Office must be reminded – in advance of issuing proceedings – of their agreement to these terms so that the DAC is halted as soon as proof of filing the claim has been provided to them.
Lead solicitors in Hossain & others are Toufique Hossain & Ahmed Aydeed (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.