System 'in chaos' as nearly half of enforced removals arecancelled, many of them after successful legal challenges
Duncan Lewis represented SHH, a severely disabled Afghan who sought asylum in the United Kingdom. His application was refused and he appealed, unsuccessfully, to the First - Tier Tribunal. When he was also refused permission to appeal that decision to the Upper Tribunal Duncan Lewis appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’). The Court granted our application for an Order preventing the removal of SHH until they had decided his appeal.
Solicitors, Kat Hacker & James Packer deliver Duncan Lewis’ first full judgement in European Court of Human Rights as it tackles the issue of Disabled Persons and Article 3 ECHR Expulsion to Afghanistan. Press Release available shortly.
James Packer’s Law Gazette Article challenges the Government to ensure Judicial Review proposals provide both an effective and lawful mechanism for individuals to challenge the decisions of public bodies
Co-ordinated by Director & Senior Solicitor James Packer, the Public Law Department of Legal 500 and Chambers UK Law Firm Duncan Lewis has recently submitted its detailed response to the controversial Ministry of Justice’s Proposals for the Reform of Judicial Review.
Asylum seekers who enter Europe and move from one country where they have sought asylum to another will, in general, be returned to that initial country. Duncan Lewis is currently challenging the UK’s decision to remove people to Malta. We challenge on the basis that removal would be breaching their human rights.
The Detained Fast Track (DFT) has always been controversial from the legal advisors point of view: does it allow for sufficient advice and consultation with the client, and thorough consideration and collation of evidence in light of the serious nature of the application: the request by the asylum seeker for international protection for example. DFT was subject to consideration by John Vine as Independent Chief Inspector of UK Border Agency, whose report was published in February 2012, as well as numerous other bodies.
In an ill-considered move, David Cameron threw some red meat to the Tory back benches by indicating at Prime Minister’s question time on 24th October that his government would not allow prisoners to vote notwithstanding the results of appeals to the European Court of Human Rights. Parliament is now due to vote on the issue. In this article, we examine the cases that have brought the question of prisoner voting to the fore and the implications of the decision for the United Kingdom.
On the 30 October 2012, His Honour Sir John Thomas, President of the QBD, handed down judgment in R oao Hamid v SS Home Department  EWHC 3070 (Admin) giving guidance in relation to urgent Judicial Reviews relating to removals.
Following our article dated 20 April 2012, on the Unlawful Detention of Chinese Foreign Nationals, permission to seek Judicial Review has now been granted for one of these cases.
The ‘Italy cases’ centre on the application of Article 3(2) of the Dublin II Regulations and whether the conditions on return to Italy are in contravention of Article 3 ECHR.
The new Country Guidance case on Sri Lanka is to be heard by the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber early next year. Legal 500 and Chambers UK ranked Law Firm Duncan Lewis Solicitors are representing Tamils Against Genocide as an Interested Party in the proceedings.
High Court Judge finds Home Office's actions to be "strikingly ineffectual" and "contradictory" (18 October 2012)
In the latest Legal 500 edition announced on 20th September, Duncan Lewis is pleased to announce rankings received in the practices of Family/Child Care; Immigration & Public Law. Published for over 20 years, the Legal 500 Service provides the most comprehensive worldwide coverage available on legal services providers in over 100 countries.
Following its lead representation in the 2011 reported cases of Re D and Re S, Duncan Lewis’ Family and Child Care Law Department is ranked in Legal 500 2012 with Tooting based Director/Solicitor Advocate, Laila Bhunnoo singled out and recognised as ‘a key contact’ for the second year in a row.
Following its lead representation in the landmark case of Bahta & Ors v SSHD  EWCA Civ 89, the Legal 500 2012 edition announced on 20th September ranks the Duncan Lewis’ Public Law Department and regards it to have a ‘significant Public Law practice’ lead by ‘good solicitors’.
In the latest Legal 500 edition announced on 20th September, Duncan Lewis’ Immigration Team received an impressive Tier 3 ranking in Immigration. Published for over 20 years, the Legal 500 Service provides the most comprehensive worldwide coverage available on legal services providers in over 100 countries.
Duncan Lewis lead the way to stop removals of those with genuine Asylum and human rights claims
Delay: Why are there no recent delay cases, has the UKBA resolved the legacy?
This article considers the current status of victims of trafficking under UK Immigration and Criminal law. It addresses the fact that, while significant progress has been made in terms of the identification of victims of trafficking by the authorities, and several guidance documents have been issued for the CPS and UKBA in relation to the identification and treatment of victims, trafficking victims continue to be detained, prosecuted and harshly punished for offences which arose directly from their situation of trafficking.
The recent furore surrounding Foreign National Prisoners (FNP) and the debate over the basis upon which their appeals against deportation are allowed has recently been overshadowed in an unrelated incident relating to an FNP held within Immigration Detention.
A British citizen who had been detained by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) for 42 days under Immigration Act 1971 powers has secured damages for his unlawful detention.
A Somali national who had been detained by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) for 14 months under Immigration Act 1971 powers has secured damages for his unlawful detention.
Duncan Lewis has challenged the Secretary of State’s practice to remove asylum seekers to Malta under the Dublin Convention. The Defendant’s decisions to return those who came through Malta en route to claiming asylum in the UK are pursuant to the Dublin II Regulation (343/2003).
As per the article of 20 April 2012 on the statutory breach of the Secretary of State’s duty under Section 55 Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, Duncan Lewis have initiated several challenges to the Secretary of State in this respect. However, more recently, cases have involved the misapplication of Section 55 and established case law. Even though the Secretary of State claims to have applied Section 55 and considered the best interest of children involved in accordance with relevant case law when issuing a decision to refuse leave, it is clear that she has repeatedly erred in the application of the law itself.
Expanding its Public Law Department in North London, Duncan Lewis welcomes Raja.
The public law team have recently been working with a number of Chinese nationals who are being detained under Immigration Powers for excessive periods (ranging between 12 months to 24 months), where the client has no prospect of removal under the R(Hardial Singh) v Governor of Durham Prison  EWHC 1 (QB) principles.
Following the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of R oao Saba Tesfamichael v Secretary of State for the Home Department,  UKSC 12, handed down on the 21 March 2012, the Supreme Court have given further guidance following Hoxha and B v Secretary of State for the Home Department,  UKHL 19.
The failure to consider the best interests renders a decision unlawful and challenges by way of public law need to address the breach of the SSHD’s statutory duty under Section 55.
You’re fleeing your country, being persecuted for your political beliefs. You arrive in the United Kingdom to claim asylum: a place of safety and a firm advocator of human rights. You believe that you will be treated with dignity and respect.
How do you prove after having made a successful bail application to the Crown Court, that your client has been granted bail? The answer, rather unbelievably, is ‘with great difficulty’.
As set out in our earlier article Who you gonna call? we have previously written to the Administrative Court to express our concern about the difficulties in having an application for interim relief heard overnight by a duty Judge
The Court of Appeal in the case of Bahta, a case 'of general application', criticised the approach of Administrative Court Judges to relief and costs and forcefully restated the principle that their judgments represent the law until and unless they are overturned. The case also represents a landmark recognition of the duties of the courts to legally aided practitioners.
Duncan Lewis recently wrote to the Administrative Court raising concerns about recent restrictions on access to duty judges when seeking emergency injunctions out of hours. The Court has replied, and indicates that these applications should usually be heard.
A recent prison law judicial review case dealt with adjudication charges against five prisoners. An incident took place in HMP Full Sutton in which the five claimants fought with another group of male prisoners. Hot oil was thrown and a number of prisoners and a prison staff were injured.
The Claimant was a national of Yemen. She sought Judicial Review of the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s refusal to grant her indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom in order to continue to reside with her husband and children.
The question before the Court of Appeal in the conjoined appeals of Secretary of State for the Home Department v Hassan Abdi and Afrah Khalaf v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 242 was "in deciding whether a foreign national (prisoner) facing deportation has been detained for too long, does time which he has spent appealing against deportation count?"
Duncan Lewis were today granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against decisions refusing to award costs to the Claimants in the High Court in a test case.
The case of Negassi was heard as a test case on the question of whether the Secretary of State should be liable in damages for unlawfully refusing to grant permission to work to repeat asylum seekers who had not had their claim decided for a year.
Duncan Lewis’s application to the European Court of Human Rights for an injunction preventing the removal of our client ‘VG’ to Jamaica has today been granted.
In our earlier article Supreme Court for the "Superior Court"? we predicted that the issue of whether, and if so on what basis, the Upper Tribunal was susceptible to judicial review would have to be settled by the Supreme Court. That has proved to be the case.
Only the cynical would doubt that the government had the best of intentions in raising the age of both parties to a marriage from 18 to 21 with the stated aim of tackling the acknowledged evil of forced marriage.
It is envisaged that the Tribunal will exercises the power of the High Court when Section 15 of the Tribunal, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 comes fully into force. There has already been considerable resistance to this idea, and we wait to see when the time is chosen. In this article we consider some of the difficulties that this might give rise to.
Duncan Lewis is committed to providing training and has shown in the past that there are career progression opportunities at the firm. Sonia Lenegan recently completed her training contract at Duncan Lewis and has since been offered a solicitor role in the Public Law team at Duncan Lewis' Shepherds Bush branch.
Ms Pengayo was studying with Leave in the United Kingdom. She enrolled upon a course at an approved college in accordance with Home Office Guidelines. Later however the college was removed from the register because it had been found to be issuing some bogus qualifications.
One important detail has already emerged. The Secretary of State is attempting to leave open the question of whether or not the failure to issue PTW was lawful, and attempting to argue that she was entitled to await the outcome of the ZO litigation before deciding to issue PTW. Needless to say, we do accept that view.
A client of mine was removed in pursuance of a deportation order earlier this year, this could have been avoided. Her appeal against deportation was dismissed on the 4th November 2009, despite the fact that she was legally represented at this time, her previous solicitors failed to obtain key evidence of her subsisting relationship with her husband, a British national.
Interim relief allows an applicant to seek a preliminary order in ongoing litigation. It is very often used to preserve the status quo. In an application for Judicial Review challenging unlawful detention of an immigration detainee it would be used to seek the Claimant’s release.
We at Duncan Lewis, considered our work done: that our clients with outstanding requests for permission to work and those with pending Judicial Review claims stayed behind ZO, would be granted permission to work and costs in these claims would be awarded in our favour given that the Claimants’ substantive case has proved good. Frustratingly, this was not the case.
Governments generally appear unable to resist tampering with the justice system. The introduction of a unified tribunal system through the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCEA) which, broadly speaking gathered together a large number of tribunals and appeal processes under one roof, and then formulated common rules to govern them, has at least the surface virtue of simplifying and codifying the law.
Duncan Lewis have been granted permission for judicial review in an important case that deals with the duty the Secretary of State has to safeguard the interests of minors in her custody.
‘ZO’ was a lone, vulnerable, young single female who had suffered truly terrible treatment in her home country of Somalia. Refused asylum on an initial application, she submitted a second claim based on previously unavailable evidence. This claim, once considered, was highly likely to result in a grant of leave to remain in the UK.
An estimated 45,000 will be entitled to work in the UK as a result of the Supreme Court ruling in “ZO” – in a case brought by Duncan Lewis solicitors.Delays in the time it takes for the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to process asylum claims causes hardship to thousands. These hardships were exacerbated by the inability to find lawful work during the time spent waiting for a decision.
Offending Behaviour Programmes of various shapes and sizes are available to prisoners wishing to reduce their risk of reoffending and address their offending behaviour, but only under certain provisos – that usually deny places to those with mental disabilities.
Costs issues regularly arise in the context of judicial review proceedings. Often, as the claimant is financed by the Legal Services Commission, the issue is not considered pivotal. However, given the significant financial costs in bringing the proceedings, this is problematic.
Given that the right to liberty is accepted by all concerned as being at the very heart of the protection that the courts provide from the arbitrary power of the state, it is perhaps surprising that there is a dearth of authorities on the ambit of Saadi.
It is now generally well known that asylum seekers whose ‘further representations/fresh claims’ have remained outstanding for more than one year have the right to take employment. Currently the law stands in their favour, and applications for relief where the Secretary of State refuses or delays consideration of an application for permission to work are routinely granted following the judgment of the Court of Appeal in ZO (Somalia). This article considers recent developments in the case.
Supervisors continually stess the importance of "maintaining control over one's clients". Initially, it may seem unclear as to what was meant by this; however the point is illustrated in this article during the course of one Judicial Review case.
Who says hard work and determination don’t pay off? Naim and colleagues attended the Society of Asian Lawyers 15th Annual Ball at the Mariott Grosvenor Square. The night was well attended and an enjoyable night was had by all. Naim who joined the firm in 2003 qualified as a solicitor in June 2006 was presented with the award for Young Lawyer of the Year 2010 by the Vice President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Linda Lee, and the Chairman of the Society of Asian Lawyers, Sundeep Bhatia. He is currently a Partner and Joint Head of the Public Law department, based at the Hackney office.
Duncan Lewis is proud to be able to deliver a high standard of legal advice across a wide range of areas whilst conducting its business in a socially responsible manner. Our day to day practice highlights to us the growing severity of the unmet legal needs of the disadvantaged in the communities we serve, and we are responding to it.
Delays on the part of UK Border Agency under the Legacy Exercise and to resolve priority applications lead not only to frustration and anxiety on part of the applicants but may also lead to loss of unique talent, as a promising football player’s career is jeopardised by the unreasonable hold up in determining his application.
The linked judicial reviews of the decisions of the Secretary of State for the Home Department by T and M  EWHC 435 (Admin) were heard before Collins J on 18 February 2010 and the judgement is now available on BALLI . This case will clearly be of great importance to Immigration and Public Law Practitioners in so far as it impacts upon the position of unaccompanied minors and the Dublin Convention. However the focus of this article is upon the findings of Mr Justice Collins in relation to same day removal.
Applicants for leave under the Immigration Rules must meet the terms of those rules at the time that the application is decided, not the rules in force at the date the application is made
Protective Costs Orders are something of a constitutional novelty, and the principles that govern their award, their ambit and even their very existence have been controversial
In an unusual case, the House of Lords has confirmed that a person cannot benefit from their own wrongdoing
Public law is the name given to the branch of law that governs the relationship between the state and individuals. Although a little known practice area the workings of public law can be seen daily in some of the most high profile news items – for example in relation to the controversial powers with regards the detention of suspected terrorists.