InThePress Articles

 

Duncan Lewis:InThePressGrenfell fire: Police block release of key documents on cladding warning (Independent) (19 October 2017)

 

Alex Peebles, solicitor in Public Law and Court of Protection at Duncan Lewis, has commented on the Kensington and Chelsea Council’s (RBKC) decision to without information regarding the action taken to mitigate fire risks at Grenfell Tower before the fire happened. It is understood that the Metropolitan Police advised RBKC to withhold any correspondence collected concerning the risk the cladding posed as a fire hazard, as warned by the London Fire Brigade, approximately two months before the fire. It should be noted that the Metropolitan Police’s advice did not constitute an order to withhold information. The RBKC argue that where Freedom of Information is concerned, the public interest to withhold the information is greater than the public interest to reveal it, since the criminal investigation is still ongoing. Alex Peebles points out that: “The information cannot be withheld just because there may be risks associated with its disclosure. The council or the police must be prepared to give detailed reasons that explain why the disclosure would or would be likely to cause prejudice to others.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressSyrian Minor challenging Home Office’s decision to remove him to Bulgaria after reuniting with family (19 October 2017)

 

Mohammed Mirzo, a client of Vinita Templeton, Director of Immigration Law at Duncan Lewis, is facing removal to Bulgaria after being reunited with his family after a long separation. The Home Office are seeking to remove him to Bulgaria on the basis that Bulgaria previously granted Mohammed refugee status. Amongst reasons cited to justify removal, the Home Office claims that Mohammed has failed to prove that he has an established family life with his claimed family members – even though he was released by immigration officers into the care of his family from his day of arrival in the UK and has lived with them with recourse to asylum support or any other form of public funds. He is emotionally dependent on his family after suffering a very traumatic period in Bulgaria. Vinita Templeton argues that her client would not be safe returning to Bulgaria, where he previously experienced torture and abuse, whilst detained amongst adults, despite being an unaccompanied minor. The Rule 35 Report completed after Mohammed’s medical examination confirmed that his account of being beaten by the police in Bulgaria was consistent with torture. The Home Office agreed to release Mohammed from Campsfield IRC after receiving this medical report, however, there has been no confirmation yet that removal to Bulgaria will be cancelled. Vinita warns that once removed to Bulgaria, Mohammed may be treated as an asylum seeker once again, since Bulgarian law provides that individuals who leave the country for more than three months and explicitly reject the protection granted will lose their status. If returned to Bulgaria, Mohammed would have to again seek international protection which would leave him vulnerable to further abuse. Vinita is quoted: "They [The Home Office] believe he would be safe there, but he suffered a series of traumatising experiences – including being detained in solitary confinement and handcuffed at a time when he was still a child…He is terrified, absolutely terrified, of going back there. For somebody to be terrified of a supposedly safe country, that is just terrible." . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressLewis Kett interviewed on BBC South East Today (19 October 2017)

 

Lewis Kett, solicitor in Duncan Lewis’ Immigration and Public Law departments, talks in regards to the treatment his client has sustained whilst detained at Brook House Immigration Detention Centre. Lewis asks for a judicial led inquiry in order to expose the failings of not just the individual detention staff members who have abused detainees, but G4S as the private security firm which runs Brook House and the Home Office for allowing abuse like this to take place. Following September’s panorama investigation into Brook House, the Director Ben Saunders has resigned, but there is still much to be done to protect detainees and hold those responsible for this abuse accountable. It comes at a crucial time when the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written directly to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, to also call for an independent inquiry into the alleged abuse at the immigration detention centre, on the grounds that it may breach Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The EHRC's chief executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath, said she expected a response to the request within 14 days. Lewis is quoted: “We think an independent and impartial judicial led inquiry is the only way to get to the bottom of what has happened here in terms of not just accountability to individual detention officers, but for the Home Office and G4S for actually allowing this to happen.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressTortured, Raped And Detained: How Linh Was Betrayed By The Home Office (Huffington Post) (16 October 2017)

 

Patrick Page, a caseworker in Immigration and Public Law at Duncan Lewis, writes in the Huffington Post on how a client was unlawfully detained by the Home Office in Yarl’s Wood IRC after escaping abuse in her home country. Linh is amongst other detainees who were detained under the previous legal definition of torture which stated that if someone was tortured by a non-state official and that it was not inflicted by government or state officials, it was not legally considered torture for the purposes of medical examinations. Patrick discusses the recent decision by the High Court to deem this definition of torture to be unlawful: “On Tuesday [10th October] the High Court unambiguously told the Home Office that their distinction between state and non-state torture, when assessing particular vulnerability to harm in detention, ‘has no rational or evidence base.’ Linh and the other claimants had been unlawfully detained.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressTorture victims were wrongly imprisoned in UK, high court rules (Guardian) (11 October 2017)

 

The Public Law and Immigration teams at Duncan Lewis challenged the Home Office’s definition of torture which has unlawfully detained victims of torture in UK detention centres. The High Court ruled in favour of the challenge on 10th October 2017. Mr Justice Ouseley told the Home Office that their policy had ‘no rational or evidence base.’ The unlawful definition required a torture victim to have received torture by state actors in order to be considered victims of torture. Those vulnerable persons who experienced non-state torture were unlawfully detained under this policy. Toufique Hossain, Public Law and Immigration Director at Duncan Lewis is quoted: “What is particularly shocking in this case, is that the secretary of state developed a policy, completely at odds with responsible medical opinion and established legal standards, that treated people who suffered abhorrent torture differently, simply on the basis of who their torturer was.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressJayesh Jethwa interviewed on BBC Wiltshire (3 October 2017)

 

Jayesh Jethwa, Trainee Solicitor in Duncan Lewis’ Private & Business Immigration department talks on Marie Lennon’s BBC Wiltshire show about spousal VISAs in the UK. Andrew, A UK national, married Kim an Australian national, but has since been unable to live with his wife in the UK since they do not meet the financial requirement stipulated under the Immigration Rules – the Home Office argue if Andrew was to be granted he would be at risk of becoming a burden to the UK welfare system. Jayesh discusses the attributes that the Home Office requires non-EEA national spouses to have in order to qualify for entry clearance under the spouse provisions, as well as amendments that have come into place under the recent MM (Lebanon) determination in the Supreme Court, which may positively affect prospective spousal applications similar to Andrew and Kim’s situation. Duncan Lewis often advise on complex entry clearance matters such as this. In this particular case the couple have opted to live in Australia due to the difficulties they faced when applying for a UK spousal VISA. However, other individuals facing a similar predicament may be able to rely upon changes brought in under MM (Lebanon) which notably include; a third party guarantor and a prospective job for the migrant upon entering the United Kingdom. Duncan Lewis are adept with the most recent law governing this ever-changing area of Immigration.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressRetired senior judge warns of the lack of safeguards in the power of attorney system in England and Wales (Asian Voice) (25 September 2017)

 

Helen Cummings, a trainee solicitor in Public Law and Court of Protection at Duncan Lewis, has featured in Asian Voice, discussing the risks relating to power of attorney procedures in England and Wales. Helen details a case where an elderly gentleman appointed a neighbour as his enduring power of attorney (EPA), resulting in financial abuse. Since the case, changes have been made, with lasting power of attorneys (LPA) replacing enduring power of attorneys (EPA). Helen writes: “The power-of-attorney (PoA) process can reassure those lacking mental capacity and their loved ones. It also carries great risks, including financial abuse – e.g. the coercion of an elderly person into signing deeds, wills or PoA documents.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressManjinder Kaur Atwal on RT UK (25 September 2017)

 

Manjinder Kaur Atwal, Housing Director and Solicitor at Duncan Lewis, talks on RT UK about the Government’s low level of spending on social housing. Manjinder points out that her clients have been dealing with issues of homelessness because of unaffordable housing. People on a low income are being evicted or forced to move outside their boroughs because they cannot afford their rent. Manjinder states that the reason why so many people on low incomes are in this position is because the Government has failed to invest in social housing. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressImmigration detainee allegedly choked by G4S guard demands public inquiry (Guardian) (25 September 2017)

 

A Brook House immigration detainee and client of Harrow’s public law team at Duncan Lewis, has launched legal action against the Home Office after being physically and verbally abused by a G4S staff member. The client is not alone, with a total of nine detainees making cases against the Home Office. The client wants the video evidence recently captured on BBC Panorama’s undercover recordings to be used in the inquiry. Toufique Hossain, director of public law at Duncan Lewis is quoted: “When people are ill treated – in this country, within the government’s detention estate – in a way that breaches fundamental rights that are absolute in character, urgent and radical steps must be taken. We will press for this in the courts.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressJamie Bell on BBC Newsnight (21 September 2017)

 

Jamie Bell, Public Law and Immigration Solicitor at Duncan Lewis, took part in an interview on BBC’s Newsnight discussing his client’s treatment by the Home Office, which led to his removal to Kabul. Samim Bigzad, Jamie’s client, has since been returned and sits alongside Jamie Bell in the interview. Samim was due to take a connecting flight from Istanbul to Kabul at 10:30pm on Tuesday 12th September, but the Home Office were informed of a High Court order stating that Samim was to be returned to the UK half an hour before the flight was to depart. Initially Samim was told that he would not be taking the flight, but he was then told to remain on the flight in spite of the court order. Jamie discusses the potential consequences of the Home Office’s contempt of court and Samim explains why he fears going back to Kabul. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressSamim Bigzad returned to the UK: media coverage (20 September 2017)

 

Following on from Samim’s removal to Kabul, in spite of a High Court judge’s rule to return him to the UK, the asylum seeker was returned on Sunday 17th. Jamie Bell, Samim’s solicitor in the Public Law and Immigration department at Duncan Lewis, has worked tirelessly to have Samim returned, in accordance with the High Court’s orders, and has begun contempt of court proceedings against the Home Office. Various media outlets have documented the case, including the Independent, the Guardian and the BBC, all of which call out the actions which led to Samim's enforced removal. Jamie Bell is quoted in the BBC: “This has been a very long and difficult week. For everyone involved it's been both emotionally and physically draining. But seeing Samim arrive back…made it all worthwhile. He couldn't quite believe he was back and allowed to walk away free. He kept putting his head on the ground and saying how happy he was to be back. When he saw his foster family and his friend from KRAN [Kent Refugee Action Network] he was so happy...” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThis Is Not News: Our Clients In Brook House IRC Have Been Complaining About Abuse From G4S Detention Officers For Years (Huffington Post) (19 September 2017)

 

Patrick Page, Senior caseworker in Immigration and Public Law at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, writes for the Huffington Post on the recent G4S panorama investigation which has highlighted the abusive behaviour of some detention officers. Patrick reveals the extent to which his own clients have suffered, even prior to this investigation, making a point of the desperate need for intervention. Whilst Patrick’s clients are mistreated, alongside others like them, the staff themselves normalise the abuse, making CallumTulley’s stand even more pertinent. Patrick writes: “Callum Tulley’s brave reporting has shed some light on abuse carried out in detention centres, nine G4S officers have been suspended, and Twitter is all a-chirrup with calls for radical detention reform and the imposition of a time-limit (the UK being the only EU country not to have one), but we cannot allow this to be yet another outrage that fades from public consciousness against the backdrop of Brexit and Trump.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressSamim Bigzad: Home Office 'violates court order' to deport Afghan man [and] Failed Ramsay Assylum Seeker ‘must be returned to UK’ (BBC and The Independent) (14 September 2017)

 

Samim Bigzad, a client of Jamie Bell, Public Law and Immigration solicitor, has been sent to Afghanistan despite lawyers securing the injunction to have him returned to the UK. The Home Office forced the asylum seeker to board a plane from Gatwick to Istanbul on Tuesday morning. Lawyers petitioned for a last minute injunction to prevent Samim from getting on the connecting flight to Kabul, which was granted. Jamie is quoted: “The Home Office confirmed they had received the order at 10pm and said they would enact it immediately…[t]hey had half an hour before the flight was due to depart to implement the order but for unknown reasons they did not do so.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressEmployment tribunal classes bicycle courier as a ‘worker’ in latest decision on “gig economy” employment rights (Asian Voice) (12 September 2017)

 

Anthony Thompson writes for Asian Voice on an employment rights case in which “gig economy” former employee of Addison Lee, Chris Gascoigne, petitioned for his right as a “worker” to be entitled to holiday pay. Addison Lee disputed the former employee’s claim, insisting he was an independent contractor, thus “self-employed.” The London Central Employment Tribunal ruled in favour of Gascoigne as a “worker” who is entitled to holiday pay. Anthony Thompson discusses the future of “gig” industries after this court decision has confirmed that those working under this bracket of employment are “workers” and not independent contractors. Anthony writes: “The case follows similar verdicts against Uber, City Sprint, Excel and eCourier, and reinforces the rights of people working in the gig economy, who until recently had been unprotected and neglected in the context of key employment rights. It was also recently decided that couriers of emergency blood supplies and passports are ‘workers’ and entitled to improved employment rights.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressUK high court blocks deportation of man who accuses G4S of abuse (8 September 2017)

 

A client of Sheroy Zaq, Public Law Solicitor at Duncan Lewis, has been prevented from being forcibly removed by a high court judge in support of the pending investigation into G4S.The Guardian details how the asylum seeker was subject to personal abuse from the staff, whilst witnessing other incriminating acts imposed upon other detainees, making his case essential to the investigation. Sheroy Zaq adds: “This case concerns a man who was persecuted in his country of origin. He has since been subjected to further inhumane and degrading treatment within immigration detention, the responsibility for which falls squarely at the feet of our home secretary and G4S.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressTariff expired! Call for judicial review to address discrimination against tariff expired Irish indeterminate foreign national prisoners (Inside Time) (25 August 2017)

 

Maeve Thornton was published in inside time arguing that the current TERS system needs to be amended to give Irish Indeterminate Foreign National Prisoners and Indeterminate Foreign National Prisoners the same rights. As it stands, Irish Indeterminate Foreign National Prisoners will only be deported in exceptional circumstances, whereas other Indeterminate Foreign National Prisoners automatically become eligible for deportation after 2 years of their sentence without reference to the parole board. Maeve writes “the refusal to deport Irish Nationals only in the most exceptional circumstances is unique to Irish Nationals only and at odds with the fairness attributed to all other nationals from other EU countries. The effort involved for an Irish National Prisoner to have regular contact with family members whilst serving a custodial sentence is extremely difficult … The financial cost for some families to visit their imprisoned relative in the UK is often crippling or prevents them from coming”. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressJudge condemns Amber Rudd for ignoring orders to release torture victim (Guardian) (25 August 2017)

 

A client of Duncan Lewis has been held in detention despite an immigration tribunal and the high court ruling that he should be released. The government have held the position that they have not been able to find suitable accommodation for the asylum seekers on the basis of his mental health issues (mental health issues that have been incurred as a result of torture in his home country and in Libya during his passage to Europe). A judge however, has criticised how Amber Rudd has handled the case and commented that the home secretary has provided “less that satisfactory reasons” for the delay. Hannah Baynes is quoted "The Home Office needs to realise that deprivation of liberty is a serious abuse of fundamental rights, even more so when it involves a torture victim. We have seen delays of this kind far too often. The Home Office needs to act more competently and more expeditiously when it comes to complying with orders of the court".. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressMarried or co-habiting? Understanding your rights (Asian Voice) (8 August 2017)

 

Paul Nuttall wrote an article for Asian Voice commenting on the common misconception that couples who live together, but are not formally married, have about their rights. He clarifies that contrary to the belief of some “common law” spouses do not have the same kind of legal rights and obligations that married spouses do. He explains how couples who live together can hold property, differentiating between ‘Joint Tenants’ and ‘Tenants in Common’. He writes ‘If you are married and you divorce, the joint assets and the family home are all divided according to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The court has wide reaching powers to vary the ownership of property. With Cohabitees the court looks only at direct contribution and intention, and this is governed by the Trust of land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. This is much stricter and does not take into account a parties needs in any way. It is important that before you enter into property ownership with a partner that you consider your options carefully and don’t let love blind your decision making, particularly where you have raised the majority of the funds for the deposits!’ . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressMarried or co-habiting? Understanding your rights (Asian Voice) (8 August 2017)

 

Paul Nuttall wrote an article for Asian Voice commenting on the common misconception that couples who live together, but are not formally married, have about their rights. He clarifies that contrary to the belief of some “common law” spouses do not have the same kind of legal rights and obligations that married spouses do. He explains how couples who live together can hold property, differentiating between ‘Joint Tenants’ and ‘Tenants in Common’. He writes ‘If you are married and you divorce, the joint assets and the family home are all divided according to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The court has wide reaching powers to vary the ownership of property. With Cohabitees the court looks only at direct contribution and intention, and this is governed by the Trust of land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. This is much stricter and does not take into account a parties needs in any way. It is important that before you enter into property ownership with a partner that you consider your options carefully and don’t let love blind your decision making, particularly where you have raised the majority of the funds for the deposits!’. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressBespoke Law Services increasing access to justice for autistic clients (Solicitors Journal) (4 August 2017)

 

A number of clinics have been popping up across of the UK designed to provide access to legal advice to those suffering from autism. Staff at these clinics receive specialist training in how to deal with clients who suffer from autism including redrafting documents to make them easily understandable, providing a sensory environment to help clients feel at ease and adapting advisors interview approach. The clinics aim “to make the premises more accessible to the autistic community; to develop specialist legal provision for autistic people; and to contribute to policy conversations about access to justice for people with autism.” Duncan Lewis will be offering legal advice at Romford Autism Hub Legal Advice Clinic once a week starting this October. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressBespoke Law Services increasing access to justice for autistic clients (Solicitors Journal) (4 August 2017)

 

A number of clinics have been popping up across of the UK designed to provide access to legal advice to those suffering from autism. Staff at these clinics receive specialist training in how to deal with clients who suffer from autism including redrafting documents to make them easily understandable, providing a sensory environment to help clients feel at ease and adapting advisors interview approach. The clinics aim “to make the premises more accessible to the autistic community; to develop specialist legal provision for autistic people; and to contribute to policy conversations about access to justice for people with autism.” Duncan Lewis will be offering legal advice at Romford Autism Hub Legal Advice Clinic once a week starting this October. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHome Office breached woman’s human rights in Yarl’s Wood ‘punishment room’ (Guardian) (3 August 2017)

 

The High Court has found that the Home Office was in breach of the Human Rights act after placing Duncan Lewis’s client in segregation for over 24 hours without consent. This is a landmark case as it is the first time the Home Office has been challenged regarding its use of segregation in detention centres. In order to hold a detainee for over 24 hours in segregation the detention centre must get authorisation from the Home Secretary. In the case of our client the officer in charge failed to do this. Lewis Kett is quoted: “This is the first ever challenge to the use of segregation in immigration detention and this, at the very least, the first time the high court has found someone’s segregation in immigration detention to be unlawful and in breach of human rights legislation. The Home Office will now have to make clearer checks before extending segregation beyond 24 hours. Removal from association has become the norm rather than a last resort. It’s a power over the powerless and it is being abused.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressYarl’s Wood: Home Office locked up woman in ‘freezing’ punishment room for 28 hours in breach of law (Independent) (3 August 2017)

 

Duncan Lewis’s client, a Kenyan asylum seeker who is seeking asylum on the basis of her sexuality after a history of torture at home, was locked up in segregation for a period of 28 hours, despite the detention centre not receiving authorisation from the Home Secretary to hold her beyond the initial 24 hour period. She was segregated despite being compliant with officers and committing no crime. Lewis Kett, the client’s Solicitor described the ruling as “breakthrough” as it is the first time segregation in detention has been challenged. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHome Office threatened with legal action over ‘Right to Rent’ scheme (Asian Voice) (25 July 2017)

 

Saniya Taqi was published in Asian Voice writing about the legal action being threatened against the government over the compulsory immigration checks required under the ‘Right to Rent’ scheme. The purpose of the immigration checks, implemented by then Home Secretary Theresa May, was to deny housing to undocumented migrants, thus encouraging them to leave the UK. Furthermore, it was made a criminal offence not to carry out immigration status checks. The consequence of this has been that, according to a mystery shopping survey, 58% of landlords either ignored or rejected inquiries from black British potential tenants, whilst having little success in encouraging undocumented migrants to leave the UK/ Saniya writes "The government urgently needs to revaluate the effect the right to rent scheme is having on vulnerable tenants who are struggling to find accommodation before it is implemented to other parts of the UK." . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressLegal Aid and the Grenfell Tower disaster (Asian Voice) (25 July 2017)

 

Manjinder Kaur Atwal was published in Asian Voice writing about the failings of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LAPSO) 2012 to protect residents of Grenfell Tower who had raised concerns prior to the devastating fire. The Act resulted in severe cuts to legal aid, thus depriving those who need it most of access to justice. It has transpired that residents of Grenfell Tower attempted to seek legal help regarding concerns regarding the safety of the building, however due to the lack of funding available were unable to do so. Manjinder writes ‘It is felt by many that legal aid cuts have fundamentally changed our justice system in ways that could be damaging to the lives of vulnerable people. Following the devastation at Grenfell Tower, people will be questioning whether the fire could have been prevented had there been greater access to legal aid to enable the concerns to be remedied through legal redress, and whether increased legal funding could prevent similar disasters from occurring in the future.’ . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressIs Greece ready to receive asylum seekers under the Dublin system? (Essex Human Rights Centre) (24 July 2017)

 

Marios Kontos, a Trainee in the Duncan Lewis Immigration Department, wrote a blog in aid of refugee week to document the conditions of the receptions centres in Greece under the Dublin system, a process whereby asylum claims are supposedly streamlined on the basis that asylum seekers submit their claim in the first EU country they arrive in. Marios writes: "It has been more than six years since the European Court of Human Rights issued the landmark judgment on M.S.S. v Belgium & Greece, when Greece’s reception conditions were found in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights … Although it is arguable that Greece has taken steps to restructure its asylum system, these efforts are hardly enough to address the concerns raised in M.S.S. … criticism of the Commission’s recommendation has been more emphatically based on testimonies of asylum seekers stranded on Lesvos and other Aegean islands. Their main complaints are lack of access to food, healthcare and appropriate accommodation at the camps, where asylum seekers died during this year’s harsh winter”. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe Punishment Room: Challenging the Abusive Use of Segregation in Immigration Detention (Liberty) (20 July 2017)

 

Patrick Page has been published in Liberty telling the story of a client's experience of segregation and abuse in Yarl's Wood Detention Centre, going on to discuss the damaging psychological effects of solitary isolation on asylum seekers, many of whom have been subject to various modes of torture and inhumane treatment. He writes "Pamela is one of thousands of detainees being placed in isolation for dubious reasons. The Detention Centre Rules 2001 allow such segregation when “necessary in the interests of security or safety”. They stipulate that in a privately-run detention centre such as Yarl’s Wood (managed by Serco), solitary confinement can only be authorised by the Home Secretary or – in urgent cases – a manager of the centre. Pamela’s segregation was not in the interests of security or safety. It wasn’t urgent, and it wasn’t authorised by the Home Secretary. The vague nature of government policy on solitary confinement, combined with a lack of oversight of its use, has created a dangerous vacuum, opening the practice up to abuse.". Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHousing Disrepair: How to take action (Asian Voice) (19 July 2017)

 

Dalia wrote an article for Asian Voice this week detailing the issues around housing disrepair including: what a landlord is obliged to repair, what tenants can claim compensation for and how Duncan Lewis can help. She writes: “If you are living in a rented property, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that your home is fit for purpose by carrying out any necessary maintenance and repairs. Failures to do so means properties fall into a state of disrepair, and this be damaging to the health and welfare of tenants”. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressJamie Bell’s ‘Eight Months On, A Reflection On The Calais Jungle’ (Huffinton Post) (17 July 2017)

 

Jamie Bell was recently featured on the front page of the Huffington Post website, for his blog “Eight Months On, A Reflection On The Calais Jungle”. Jamie discusses his memories from visiting the Calais refugee camp in October 2016, shortly prior to its destruction, and his experiences in the eight months following. Jamie wrote: “I wanted to write this article to give my story as a lawyer who tried his hardest to help the most vulnerable group in the world, unaccompanied asylum seeking children. It was difficult to write and the events of the past eight months have had a significant impact on me.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressImmigration detainees are challenging the Home Office’s £1 an hour wages (Guardian) (12 July 2017)

 

Immigration detainees are currently exempt from the UK’s minimum wage legislation, but ten detainees, with the help of Duncan Lewis Solicitors, have launched a legal challenge against the Home Office. The Home Office has defended the low-paid work, claiming it is on a voluntary basis and provides “relief from boredom”. Toufique Hossain, Director of Public Law and Immigration, is quoted: “We have put the Home Office on notice that their policy in relation to paid work in removal centres is unlawful. The Home Office are imposing £1 an hour as a maximum wage, that cannot be increased irrespective of worker performance, and for work that is essential to the day-to-day running of these centres, is yet another repugnant feature of immigration detention and it needs to be changed with immediate effect. The Home Office has said they are considering a review of this policy. If they do not make changes urgently, we will issue proceedings in the high court.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressDuncan Lewis’ Summer Party and Networking Event featured in Asian Voice (12 July 2017)

 

Duncan Lewis’ successful summer party was featured on Asian Voice’s website. Duncan Lewis Solicitors hosted a successful and enjoyable Summer Party and Networking Evening on Wednesday 28th June. The event at Tower Hotel was attended by their staff and several guests that included Mr Justice McCloskey, Immigration & Asylum Chamber President, Barristers from multiple chambers and guests from charities and other organisations . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressManjinder Kaur Atwal interviewed on RT (12 July 2017)

 

Manjinder, of Harrow’s Housing Department, was interviewed by Russian international television network RT about how Duncan Lewis Solicitors can help the residents of the Grenfell Tower fire. Manjinder explained that Duncan Lewis are offering legal advice to those caught up in the tragedy, visiting hotels and B&Bs where residents are being accommodated temporarily. Manjinder explained the concerns many residents have about the accommodation they are offered being unsuitable, and the dangers of turning down an offer of permanent accommodation and being deemed intentionally homeless. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressTom Clark interviewed by Blick about Boris Becker’s Bankruptcy and what it means (12 July 2017)

 

Civil Litigation’s Tom Clark was recently interviewed by Swiss Newspaper Blick about the bankruptcy of Boris Becker and Becker’s legal rights. Tom was asked if it is possible for authorities to seize Becker’s assets in different countries, referring to properties that Becker has in Spain and Switzerland. Tom explained: “If a foreign bankruptcy estate wishes to submit a claim in a Swiss bankruptcy proceeding, the foreign bankruptcy proceeding must first to be recognised in Switzerland. In a recent decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, the Court ruled that the decision of a foreign court will not be recognised in Switzerland to justify the submitted claim of a foreign creditor if the foreign proceedings were initiated after the date bankruptcy proceedings were opened over the Swiss debtor. Therefore, it may be the case that Mr. Becker’s trustee would have to make an application in the Swiss courts to recover such property.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressGabor Nagy and Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches’ (12 July 2017)

 

Gabor Nagy recently assisted Channel 4 for an episode of their award-winning investigative current affairs programme.The episode: ‘Dispatches – How to Get a British Passport’ looks at both undocumented children who were born and/or raised here and the struggles they face as they try to become citizens. It also looks at how Brexit could throw a new generation of children into a similar situation. Gabor was recommended to producer Datshiane Navanayagam by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, and he provided information and assistance relating to the law, funding issues and case studies. The programme was made ‘Pick of the Week’ in the Sunday Times. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressVinita Templeton on BBC 3 (12 July 2017)

 

One of Vinita’s cases was featured on BBC3 documentary “Don’t Deport Me, I’m British” It is an emotionally charged documentary following the stories of three young men who came to Britain as children, have grown up her and feel British. But upon becoming adults, these men discover that they are no longer welcomed in the UK by the British Government. Vinita’s client is 20 year old Bashir, who has lived in Cardiff for eleven years, but is now fighting deportation to Afghanistan. Bashir could face deportation despite having not been to Afghanistan since he was aged nine and he witnessed his father’s murder by the Taliban. Vinita is striving to show that Bashir has become too westernised to live safely in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, Vinita had to tell Bashir, or “Bash”, that his case had been refused by the Home Office, as they did not accept that Bash was westernised with a settled home life in Cardiff. Bash’s case is still ongoing. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAlex Peebles comments on criminal charges and the Grenfell investigation (Financial Times) (12 July 2017)

 

Investigations into the Grenfell Tower fire in West London will be led by a public inquiry and a police probe. With the death toll currently at 80, there will also be inquests into the deaths, and potentially a wide range of civil claims. The Financial Times raised the following questions about the upcoming investigations: Who will chair the public inquiry? What will the public inquiry look like and how long will it take? Is the Grenfell fire all about the cladding? Can Grenfell survivors or relatives bring their own cases? And will criminal charges be brought? To the last question, Alex Peebles was quoted: “Public inquiries cannot determine civil or criminal but their findings and conclusions could be used in a criminal or civil case.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressDuncan Lewis successfully challenged Upper Tribunal Rules (5 July 2017)

 

James Packer and Kate Newman have been featured by Free Movement following their successful challenge to the Upper Tribunal. Until now litigants have had their cases struck out for minor technical breaches of the Tribunal Rules without the Tribunal having any regard to the strength of the litigants’ claims; this has often placed litigants at risk of removal. Duncan Lewis has challenged this and the Tribunal has amended its practice.


Kate Newman wrote: “Astute practitioners may have noticed that recently the wording on both the letter provided when issuing a claim and form T485 has altered. The requirement to provide the UT with an effective T485 remains in place…but the consequence of automatic strike out is no longer stated.” Read more…

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Duncan Lewis:InThePressJamie Bell comments on the leaked footage of an Afghan asylum seeker being forcibly removed and slapped and punched by immigration officials (Middle Eastern Eye) (26 June 2017)

 

Whilst on a Turkish Airlines flight passengers witnessed an asylum seeker from Afghanistan being slapped by immigration officials who were removing him to Afghanistan despite the man saying he had refugee status in Italy. The video footage shows officials pushing the mans head against the wall whilst he shouts “I can’t breathe … please”. Jamie Bell comments “It is very upsetting to see that immigration officers are physically assaulting detainees in order to forcibly remove them to a deeply insecure and unstable country … we are surprised that the Home Office persist in forcible removing Afghans when we understand that a Country Guidance is to be imminently listed consider the safety and reasonableness of removal to Kabul” .. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressIf you want to know the reality of being a refugee, read these claims from Britain's current asylum seekers (Independent) (26 June 2017)

 

Patrick Page was published for the second time in the past month, this time he gave a voice to the testimony’s of four Duncan Lewis clients, all asylum seekers, all who had suffered at the hands of the British authorities. Patrick wrote about the plight of Joseph, Pamela, Mohammad, Umar describing the circumstances leading them to need to claim asylum in the first place and their subsequent treatment whilst in the asylum system in the UK. He writes “Joseph first saw a dead body when he found his father’s decapitated corpse. Pamela was removed by immigration officers as she got out the shower, Mohammed was threatened by the Taliban after working as an interpreter for the British in Afghanistan. Umar is a gay man who faces persecution in his home country…” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHelen Cummings discusses the Court of Protection and Huntington’s Disease (Asian Voice) (26 June 2017)

 

Helen Cummings was featured in Asian Voice this month discussing a mother’s request to the Court of Protection to have her daughter’s life supporting treatment withdrawn. The woman concerned believes her daughter’s dignity is being compromised by her continued treatment for Huntington’s Disease, which she has had for over 20 years. Helen writes "Mental incapacity can be defined as a person's inability to make decision owing to them being unable to understand the information relevant to the decision, being unable to retain that information, being able to weigh the information as part of the decision making process and being unable to communicate his or her decision. Huntington's disease can affect a person's communication and cognition, and with time a person with Huntington's disease will often become less responsive, more withdrawn and less aware of their surroundings. Therefore the Court of Protection is required to make decisions in this matter." . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePress"Locked in Limbo" (European Network on Statelessness) (2 June 2017)

 

“The waiting is the worst part of detention. It’s like you don’t have any control any more, you just sit and wait. You wait for someone else to tell who you are and what is your country.” Lewis Kett recently partook in the recent European Network on Statelessness (ENS) Conference in Budapest following the launch of the report "Protecting Stateless Persons from Arbitrary Detention: An Agenda for Change". On his return he wrote about the issue of statelessness and his analysis of why the UK (and its European counterparts) is slow-moving and complacent in its attempts to address the issue of statelessness. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe Charlie Gard case and Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome (Asian Voice) (2 June 2017)

 

Petia Georgieva appeared in Asian Voice this month discussing the case of Charlie Gard – a baby born with an inherited rare disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome (MDS). As a result of MDS, Charlie has been left with irreversible brain damage and unable to move. Whilst Charlie’s parents have raised money in the hope of taking him to the United States for treatment, the High Court Judge believes Charlie should be moved to palliative care. Petia explains: “However, on 11 April 2017, the High Court Judge, Mr Justice Francis held that the best interests of the child prevail and should be taken into account. With this in mind, he held that Charlie needs to be left to die peacefully, and that he should not be put through more pain and suffering.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressSolicitor jailed for £60k tax fraud appeals against sentence (Law Society Gazette) (1 June 2017)

 

Azhar Islam Khan was sentenced to 18th months at Harrow Crown Court in February and suspended from holding company directorships for four years after it was found that he failed to declare the shareholder dividend income from a variety of sources. This allowed him to keep £60,000 from HM Revenue & Customs, which otherwise would have been taxed. Rubin Italia appeared in court to appeal the decision. The appeal was allowed and the sentence reduced to 9 months. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressVaginal Mesh Implants: Duncan Lewis Solicitors represent a victim of vaginal mesh implant (Asian Voice) (31 May 2017)

 

Divya Anand appeared in Asian Voice this month discussing the legal action being taken against the NHS and manufacturers of vaginal mesh implants by hundreds of women who suffered complications from them. Divya explained the complications that can emerge: “Although mesh implants have been used successfully in many other parts of the body, when inserted in the abdomen, the implants can react differently, cutting into the vagina. Implications of the mesh perforating into the vagina range from mild discomfort to debilitating and life-changing pain.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe way asylum seekers are treated in the UK is a silent scandal (Guardian) (31 May 2017)

 

As part of the Guardian series 'public servant: my letter to the public', Patrick Page wrote a letter in response to the outcry from a Home Office caseworker who feared the government was failing asylum seekers in their darkest hour. The Guardian series aims to give a voice to staff who work in public services and are facing mounting pressure created by government cuts to funding and rising demands. Patrick wrote: 'We might be on different sides of the table, but legal aid lawyers like me feel the anxiety of the Home Office caseworkers who lose sleep over a failing system'. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressMuslims demand end to instant divorce (The Times) (17 May 2017)

 

Aina Khan was quoted in the Times this weekend over the push within the British Muslim community to end marriage and divorce practices that are harmful to women. As it stands in the Muslim community a man can end a marriage by saying ‘talaq’ three times. Due to the high proportion of British Muslim marriages that are unregistered this can leave women in a very difficult position. It is not uncommon for a husband to say talaq in the heat of an argument and later regret it, however in the eyes of relatives the divorce is now valid. Aina is campaigning to update the Marriage Act 1949 to make it a legal requirement for “all faiths [to] register their religious ceremonies”. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHome Office using outdated guidance to deport Albania asylum seekers (Guardian) (11 May 2017)

 

Leading up to October 2011 courts relied on expert evidence found in Country Guidance case MK (Lesbians) Albania CG [2009] UKAIT, to determine whether homosexuals, victims of domestic abuse and victims of human trafficking should be sent back to Albania (the evidence used in the case determined that there were conditions under which it was safe for their return). However, in October 2011 the court of appeal found that this evidence could no longer be relied upon. Despite this the Home Office continued to use this case as the basis for deportation for the following five years. This error by the Home Office was highlighted in a ruling handed down in by the court of appeal in a case concerning a client of Duncan Lewis. Vanessa Delgado, the Solicitor with conduct, is quoted: “It’s so frustrating that so many Albanian asylum seekers have been let down since 2011 because the Home Office has behaved in this improper way. They have got dirt on their hands of these cases and have not acted correctly”. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressDuncan Lewis sends team of Solicitors to ILPA Athends Legal Advice Project (3 May 2017)

 

The Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (IPLA) invited Duncan Lewis to join a group of solicitors and translators who were helping to improve the reception conditions of asylum seekers in Greece. Marios Kontios, Sondos Arafa and Zofia Duszynska worked with solicitors and barristers from 4 other law firms to aid refugees with their asylum claims as the quality of the initial claim that tends to be make or break in the success of the case. As a result of the current low quality, overstretched resources available at reception points, asylum seekers are frequently being denied their rights.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressDuncan Lewis sends team of Solicitors to ILPA Athens Legal Advice Project (3 May 2017)

 

The Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (IPLA) invited Duncan Lewis to join a group of solicitors and translators who were helping to improve the reception conditions of asylum seekers in Greece. Marios Kontios, Sondos Arafa and Zofia Duszynska worked with solicitors and barristers from 4 other law firms to aid refugees with their asylum claims as the quality of the initial claim that tends to be make or break in the success of the case. As a result of the current low quality, overstretched resources available at reception points, asylum seekers are frequently being denied their rights.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressShould victims of domestic abuse be cross-examined by their abusers? (27 April 2017)

 

Genet Amare appeared in Asian Voice this week discussing proposed changes in legislation whereby alleged perpetrators of domestic violence will be banned from cross-examining their victims. A change that would bring the family courts in line with the criminal ones. She is quoted “I was recently involved in a case where … the applicant father was a litigant in person … the same abusive father who had subjected my client to acts such as: kicking and ounching her repeatedly; throwing a plate at her causing injury to her hand; ripping a clump of hair from her scalp and countless acts of verbal abuse spanning 8 years; was permitted (much to my client’s terror) to cross-examine her despite there being findings made against him in respect of domestic abuse”. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressCourt of Appeal decides Supreme Court ruling in Hesham Ali is already redundant (Freemovement) (27 April 2017)

 

Public Law Director James Packer has recently been involved in a case at the Court of Appeal which narrowed the scope of the Supreme Courts landmark judgement in the case of Hesham Ali [2016] UKSC 60 - a case which sought to clarify whether, when ruling on deportation, judges have to follow guidelines set out by s.117 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, or form their own views on the issue. The case of Hesham Ali ruled that they could form their own views. However, the case of NE-A (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 239 ruled that case guidance Hesham Ali [2016] UKSC 60 only applies to cases where Immigration Rules are applied and not cases 'decided under the statutory human rights consideration introduced by the Immigration Act 2014'. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressJamie Bell and the Duncan Lewis Immigration Team comment on a G4S warning issued to asylum seekers (Independent) (25 April 2017)

 

A letter from G4S has been issued to asylum seekers warning that they “may be detained and deported away from the UK” if they demonstrate “unacceptable behaviour” whilst living in accommodation provided by G4S. Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors expressed their concern over G4S issuing such warnings based on the actions of one individual. Jamie Bell, of Duncan Lewis’ Public Law and Immigration Department commented “G4S do not have the right to recommend deportation and have no involvement in the immigration cases of anyone who lives in their properties. It is a misrepresentation of their powers.” Jamie expressed further concerns: “Making empty threats like these can be potentially psychologically damaging to those who have acute fear of return.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressDuncan Lewis client, disabled asylum seeker Kelechi Chioba, to be sent to Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre (Independent) (21 April 2017)

 

Kelechi Chioba was beaten and abused by her family in Nigeria who believe she is a “curse”. The 36-year-old suffers from polio, mental health problems and is queer – as a disabled queer person she believes that it is not safe for her to return home. However she is now set to be sent to the UK’s most notorious detention centre, rife with rumours of sexual violence towards inmates, and is being threatened with deportation. Duncan Lewis' Jamie Bell is quoted “we will now fight for her right to stay in the United Kingdon where she can be open about her sexuality free from persecution … Kelechi has been told she will be detained, something which has caused her significat psychiatric distress. We strongly believe that she is not suitable for detention and will do whatever we can to prevent this” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAina Khan speaks at Register Our Marriage Conference (Telegraph and Argus) (12 April 2017)

 

Aina Khan, Head of the Islamic Department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, held the 'Register Our Marriage' road show on 7 March 2017, organised by Bradford's Muslim Women's Council. The road show was invited back to Bradford by popular demand after it was first held in 2015. A packed hall of men and women, young and old, took part in a stimulating discussion about the rapidly growing number of unregistered marriages in the Muslim community, which is leaving increasing numbers of people with no rights under British Law. Aina Khan said 'the marriage laws need to be updated to require all religious marriages to be legally registered. At present, nobody knows for sure if their UK religious marriage is legal or not - it appears more than 80% of marriages are not'. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAshwati Menon discusses waiting periods in A&E(Asian Voice) (11 April 2017)

 

Ashwati commented on the systematic problems facing the NHS and the chronic lack of hospital beds in England’s A&E departments. The issue of having an aging population who are increasingly entering hospital with more complex deeds, combined with a lack of resources means that England now have fewer beds per capital than China, Estonia and Turkey. This has meant that hospitals are failing to see patients within the four hour target set out by the NHS, which can result in patients being put at serious risk. Ashwati comments “As people are becoming more informed there has been a decrease in unnecessary A&E visits, therefore it is arguably more concerning that hospitals are still failing to meet the four-hour rule. This demonstrates that the problem does not lie in people wrongly using A&E services, but in fact in a serious lack of resources in an increasingly stretched NHS” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressSheroy Zaq interviewed by BBC Persia (4 April 2017)

 

Sheroy was interviewed live on BBC Persia discussing the violent attack on a young asylum seeker in Croydon over the weekend. He commented that it is important the Home Office take into account the added physical and mental vulnerabilities of this child following the assault when investigating and dealing with the aftermath of the incident. Particularly considering that he sought refuge in this country to escape the exact kind of treatment he has just received. He further added that the prevalence of anti-immigrant rhetoric, particularly that of the British government, is undoubtedly creating hostility between communities within the UK and creating a culture that spurs hate crimes of this nature. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHannah Baynes quoted in RT regarding mistreatment of client (4 April 2017)

 

A disabled client of Duncan Lewis' Public Law Solicitor Hannah Baynes had her wheelchair taken of her by the immigration authorities whilst on her way to be deported. She then alleges that she was wrapped in a restraint belt reaching from her waist to her breasts, which was then attached to a chain, by which she was dragged around. Lovelyn Edobor is a victim of trafficking from Nigeria who suffers from advanced osteoarthritis in both knees and chronic generalized arthritis. Hannah is quoted: “My client has sever mobility issues, and the way the Home Office official denied her a wheelchair and used a belt and a chain to pull her along when manoeuvring her around the airport is completely deplorable.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressRemoval of the Five Year Limit for Domestic Abuse Claims is a Victory for Victims (Asian Voice) (30 March 2017)

 

It was recently announced that the government will scrap time limits for obtaining written evidence of domestic abuse. There is also going to be an expansion of the types of evidence that can act as proof. This is a victory for all victims of domestic abuse, and will go a long way in ensuring that vulnerable people are eligible for legal aid even if a period of time has passed since incidents of abuse. Laila Bhunnoo commented: “The full extent of the changes are eagerly awaited by solicitors, charities, victims and all organisations working with domestic violence victims.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHannah Baynes comments on the treatment of disabled victim of trafficking (The Guardian) (30 March 2017)

 

Lovelyn Edobor was forced into a waist restraint belt and dragged “like a goat” by the Home Office and as they tried to remove her from the UK. The 49-year-old from Nigeria suffers from advanced osteoarthritis in both knees and chronic generalised arthritis and she uses a wheelchair. Edobor was not allowed use of her wheelchair whilst she was taken to Heathrow airport, and she was rough-handled and deprived of her dignity. Hannah Baynes said “I am very concerned about the treatment of my very vulnerable client by Home Office officials when attempting to remove her to Nigeria on Saturday evening.” Baynes continued “We ask that the Home Office provide an explanation for the inhuman treatment of our client by their staff.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressToufique Hossain interviewed about the Calais children's case against the Home Office (Channel 4 News) (20 March 2017)

 

A number of the children from Calais represented by Duncan Lewis are taking the Home Office to the High Court on the basis that their conditions for entry to the UK were too strict. Toufique is quoted: ‘it’s extremely concerning; there are a number of children in these centres who are still deeply vulnerable, deeply traumatised’. Duncan Lewis believes these children have very strong grounds to be transferred to the UK. These children are left in a difficult limbo and do not know where to turn. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressMoD compensation plans shutting armed forces personnel and their families out of the Justice System (Asian Voice) (17 March 2017)

 

The MoD have proposed to stop ex combatants ability to pursue a civil case against management in cases of negligence on the battlefield under the principle of combat immunity. However many feel that this move will only narrow legal redress for military personal and their families and allow the MoD (who are already criticised for having a closed attitude to admitting mistakes) to negate any form of scrutiny. Ashwati Menon is quoted: "Soldiers should not be excluded from bringing claims against the MoD as this will remove the level of independent scrunity which ensures the MoD are accountable when mistakes are made that result in injury or death".. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressMoD compensation plans shutting armed forces personnel and their families out of the Justice System (Asian Voice) (17 March 2017)

 

The MoD have proposed to stop ex combatants ability to pursue a civil case against management in cases of negligence on the battlefield under the principle of combat immunity. However many feel that this move will only narrow legal redress for military personal and their families and allow the MoD (who are already criticised for having a closed attitude to admitting mistakes) to negate any form of scrutiny. Ashwati Menon is quoted: "Soldiers should not be excluded from bringing claims against the MoD as this will remove the level of independent scrunity which ensures the MoD are accountable when mistakes are made that result in injury or death".. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAina Khan comments on the rise of sharia marriage councils in the UK and the worries of misogynistic practice (Guardian) (15 March 2017)

 

In the eyes of many in the Muslim community in order for a marriage to be dissolved it must be dissolved in the eyes of God. For many this means going through both the civil courts and Sharia Council. For women this can very much be a process of ‘luck of the draw’ as to how they will be treated and under what circumstances they will be granted a divorce. For those legally married under UK law there are legal protections in place, however for many women if they are not granted a divorce by the sharia council they feel they are still married in the eyes of God. However, there has been a worrying increase in the number of couples who only have a religious ceremony, and not a civil one, which leaves women at the mercy of sharia councils. Aina Khan comments: “In the past five years there has been a steep increase [in couples having only religious marriages]. It used to be about half [of my clients], now it has crept up to 80% … Instead of a prenuptial agreement, men are refusing a legal marriage. Women are worried about losing their rishta [marriage proposal] so they say: ‘OK’.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressEleri Haf Davies forms part of a delegation sent by Colombia Caravana to report on the Human Rights crisis in Tumaco (14 March 2017)

 

Eleri joined a group of lawyers determined to unearth the interlocking socio-economic and political web that has allowed this part of the world to fall to the hands of warring paramilitary forces. Upon her return she reports: "The pacific port of Tumaco has the highest homicide rate in Colombia and is infamous for being the largest centre of cocaine production in the world. Of the 203,971 inhabitants, 75% are registered victims of armed conflict ... The residents live in houses on stilts in neighbourhoods that stretch onto the septic Pacific tide, which threatens daily destruction. The displaced population on being forcibly expelled from their land had no choice but to build on rubbish pits.". Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressSyrian Refugees at risk of being sent back to countries where they have been abused (Guardian) (13 March 2017)

 

Under the Dublin agreement refuges and asylum seekers are required to seek asylum in the first EU countries they enter as they flee war, abuse and persecution. This law entitles other EU countries to send asylum seekers and refugees back to the EU country they first came into contact with. However in the case of many Syrian refugees, who finally managed to reach their families in the UK, these countries represent nothing, but fear, torture and brutal detention centres. The guardian has revealed in countries such as Bulgaria and Hungary refugees were beaten, held in cages and even waterboarded whilst on their journeys feeling the horrors of the civil war. Duncan Lewis’ recent win in a case which prevents forced removals to Hungary on the basis that it would place those involved at risk of removal back to their country of origin, is mentioned. Krisha Prathepan is quoted: “We intend to challenge any resumption of returns to Greece, as that country’s asylum system remains dysfunctional and the risk of refugees being returned from Greece to the very countries in which they faced persecution remains as high as ever” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHousing Benefit Tenants are struggling to find Private Rented Accommodation (Asian Voice) (8 March 2017)

 

Increasing numbers of people are needing to claim housing benefit in order to make ends meet and cover their rent as the cost of rent continues to rise. However, this comes in junction with increasing numbers of landlords having a ‘No DSS claimants’ policy. Landlords have a number of concerns relating to tenants who claim housing benefit including concerns that rent will not be paid on time; anti-social behaviour; rent not being paid at all. Additionally many lenders will only give landlords a mortgage on the provision that they do not rent to those on housing benefit. Saniya Taqi commented: "a number of landlords who have a mortgage to pay fear that they will not be paid rent on time if the tenant is on benefits. This will then result in landlords having to evict tenants due to rent arrears and this can be a very complicated procedure … The condemnation of tenants on housing benefits has resulted in more tenants becoming homeless as they are struggling to find accommodation themselves" . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressChairman Syed Rafique and Solicitor Jaswinder Kalsi recognised for their contributions to their professions (Asian Voice) (8 March 2017)

 

Jaswinder Kalsi and Chairman Syed Rafique were mentioned in Asian Voice this week. They were acknowledged for being named as one of the Sikh Networks 350 leading Sikh women and winning the award for Services to Law at the British Muslim Award respectively. For more information on Jaswinder’s recognition please click here. To see the full details of Mr Rafiques award, please follow this link. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressDuncan Lewis’ client Shiromini Satkunarajah has deportation halted hours before she was due to leave the UK (Guardian). (1 March 2017)

 

Shiromini Satkunarajah, originally from Sri Lanka, has been in the UK since she was 12 and is currently on track to achieve a first in electrical engineering from Bangor University. However, last week Shiromini and her Mother were arrested and informed their asylum application had been turned down. After a public outcry, hours before they were due to leave, their removal was deferred. Raja Uruthiravinayagan is quoted: “It appears that these positive developments came about only because this case has seen a groundswell of public opinion and made a clarion call to the secretary of state. We hope that the secretary of state has not taken these steps with the view to temporarily assuage public outrage. We are inviting the secretary of state to restore a modicum of justice and fairness in our broken system and grant our client and her mother a more stable form of leave to remain in the United Kingdom on a long-term basis. We hope that there will not be prolonged litigation in this case during the period when Shiromini is studying.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressRaja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan quoted defending client Shiromini Satkunarajah over removal from UK (BBC) (1 March 2017)

 

Shiromini and her mother, originally from Sri Lanka, fled the civil war with Shiromini's Father who has subsequently died. Raja comments on the process: "We were in the process of filing an emergency judicial review when we got indication the deportation had been deferred. Shiromini and her mother have only been released on 'temporary admission'. This doesn't mean she's been given formal leave to stay in the UK. What we have to do now is send a pre-action protocol letter to the Home Secretary and give her 14 days to reply and consider the decision.". Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressClient of Duncan Lewis Edward Conteh is deported to Belgium under controversial law (BuzzFeed) (1 March 2017)

 

Edward Conteh, a client of Duncan Lewis’ Public law solicitor Raja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan, has been deported to Belgium as a convicted killer by use of the controversial law called joint enterprise. Despite neither participating in, nor witnessing the murder of sixteen year old Nicholas Pearson in 2011, Conteh was charged with manslaughter and has been categorised as a foreign national prisoner. Raja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan has stated that “there is a very good basis to say that our client may have been a victim of substantial injustice”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressGovernment takes steps towards Personal Injury sector reform (Asian Voice) (11 February 2017)

 

In the 2015 Autumn Statement the Lord Chancellor announced the changes he planned to make to Personal Injury claims, which are now coming into force and could effect people's ability to make successful Personal Injury claims. Alla Kingswood noted "The Government is moving swiftly to implement these reforms ... and it is now likely they will take steps to turn it into legislation. Therefore, if you have recently suffered a minor injury, which was not your fault and for which you are entitled to compensation, it is of the utmost importance that you act quickly". Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAhmed Aydeed is interviewed on the Calais cases legal challenge against The Home Office (BBC News/RT) (3 February 2017)

 

Ahmed Aydeed, Supervising Solicitor with Duncan Lewis Solicitors, was recently invited on various platforms to discuss the legal challenge launched against the Home Office over its handling of asylum applications. "It's about the decision by the Secretary of State for the Home Department to refuse 28 unaccompanied minors/ refugees from entry to the UK. This decision was taken without the presence of an appropriate adult and without any notification given to us." The BBC News headline is 'JUNGLE' CHILDREN LEGAL CHALLENGE. Click on the images to watch the interviews in full. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressSondos Arafa is interviewed on the Home Office’s refusal of the Calais minors’ asylum applications (BBC Arabic) (2 February 2017)

 

Trainee Solicitor, Sondos Arafa, interviewed on BBC Arabic, discusses the legal action, launched by our Public Law/Immigration team, against the Government regarding the Home Office’s refusal of the Calais minors’ asylum applications. This was Sondos’ debut on TV concerning Duncan Lewis' Calais cases .She specialises in asylum and human rights work and have particular expertise in cases involving stateless persecution, asylum-seeking children, human trafficking and exclusion from the Refugee Convention. Click Image for interview. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe High court rules more than 10,000 asylum seekers treated unfairly in Duncan Lewis Solicitors' legal challenge against the Home Office (Guardian) (26 January 2017)

 

More than 10,000 asylum seekers can ask to have their cases heard again after a high court ruling that they were treated unfairly, but many have already been forcibly removed from the UK and may never get to hear about the decision. Mr Justice Ouseley declared on Friday that rules on asylum appeals in place until 2014 were unlawful and ultra vires – beyond the power of the Home Office. Duncan Lewis Solicitors' Ahmed Aydeed, part of the team which brought the legal challenge against the Home Office, said: “It is deeply concerning that potentially thousands of asylum applicants may have had their claims wrongfully decided, all of whom were detained by the homesecretary, and many of whom were returned to persecution and serious harm.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressCalais Jungle child Samir, passes away at 17 after Home Office stall in providing proper decisions (Guardian) (19 January 2017)

 

Samir was one of the 1,900 children registered by the Home Office who sought sanctuary in the UK. Like hundreds of other youngsters still in France the day his application was registered with the Home Office, he thought his struggle to reach the UK was coming to an end. According to the documents lodged in the high court by Toufique Hossain, leader of the Duncan Lewis team working to bring a group of Calais children to safety, “it appears that no written decision exists, nor do any minutes or notes of decision making relating to the refusal of the boys’ claims." Hossain said: “The Home Office continue to stall in providing proper decisions in respect of our clients. They have also failed to reconsider evidence of the Afghani boy, including psychiatric evidence detailing the child’s extreme vulnerability. We had no choice but to apply to the court for further relief today. It is heartbreaking to know that children who fled trauma and persecution, who endured the horror of the Calais camp, have now been let down so badly by the UK government.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressDuncan Lewis Solicitors' Eleri Haf Davies discusses "Tumaco: Colombia's Forgotten Territory" (The Bill of Middlesex) (16 January 2017)

 

In August 2016, Duncan Lewis’ Public Law Trainee Eleri Haf Davies was invited to join the International Jurists Commission, Caravana Colombia, to undertake research into the human rights situation in Colombia. Here, Eleri features on the front page of The Official Journal of the Middlesex Law Society and answers questions in an interview relating to her incredible achievement. Eleri discusses the "Human Rights crisis" in Tumaco and reveals the treatment of women and the prison conditions in the territory. "The final report was launched on 18th November 2016 at The Law Society on Chancery Lane." . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHigh cost of living and low wages leaves those in 'in work poverty' struggling to make ends meet this holiday period (Asian Voice) (10 January 2017)

 

Asif Anwar, a Trainee Solicitor working in the Housing Department for Duncan Lewis Solicitors, features in Asian Voice this month discussing the 1 in 8 workers living in poverty who have high rents to pay out of a low income, leading to the holiday period and subsequent months being very difficult to survive. The number of families who are living in temporary accommodation or considered homeless has continued to rise for five consecutive years with evictions by landlords reaching a ten-year high. This is happening, despite the fact that the number of working-age adults in full-time employment is at an all-time high. Dr. Peter Kenway, director of the New Policy Institute, noted that “an adult in poverty today is much more likely to be young, working and a tenant living in the private rented sector than 15 years ago”.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressDuncan Lewis Solicitors' Immigration Public Law team are featured on a range of platforms concerning their Calais cases (Various Sources) (5 January 2017)

 

Duncan Lewis Solicitors' Immigration Public Law team features on a range of platforms concerning their Calais cases and regarding the Home Office’s refusal of the Calais minors’ asylum applications. Sources include: The Guardian, The Independent, Sky News, Buzzfeed News, Daily Mail Online, Daily Sabah Europe, Euro Weekly, The Local, Financial Tribune, The Manila Times, RT News, Yahoo News and BBC Arabic. Members of the Immigration Law team featured include: Toufique Hossain, Jamie Bell, Sondos Arafa and Ahmed Aydeed.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressSudanese children stage protest in France as UK rejects asylum claims (Guardian) (20 December 2016)

 

Protest in Biscarrosse comes after UK rejected applications of 39 boys who had previously been in Calais camp. Toufique Hossain, the director of public law at the UK-based Duncan Lewis solicitors, said that the 12 children he and his team are representing were informed verbally but given no written reason for the decision, a process he described as “absolutely shocking”.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressZambian born NHS nurse represented by Mervyn Cross is granted bail after being detained by the Home Office (BBC News) (20 December 2016)

 

On 16 November 2016 Dianne Ngoza, a Zambian national, was detained at Dallas Court Reporting Centre in Salford. She informed the Home Office that she had submitted a further leave to remain application which was received same day with proof, yet Ms Ngoza was detained. The Home Office’s position was that Ms Ngoza should be removed to the country of her origin, Zambia, as a result of residing in the UK illegally. Dianne had not been to her country in 22 years. Mervyn Cross, of law firm Duncan Lewis, said he was yet to receive correspondence from the Home Office confirming the latest developments.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressUK condemned for deporting survivors of trafficking back to Vietnam (Guardian) (20 December 2016)

 

Ahmed Aydeed, from law firm Duncan Lewis, said some of his clients have been trafficked to the UK multiple times, with devastating consequences. “I’m overwhelmed by the scale and horror of the problem,” he said. “Our system is failing victims and potential victims of trafficking by not identifying and assisting them early enough.” Aydeed said one of his clients, a young woman, was trafficked to the UK and found working in a nail bar before being deported as an illegal worker in 2012. According to her lawyers, “there were clear indicators that she had been trafficked, which were not explored”. She was re-trafficked to the UK the following year. She said she was raped and forced to work in brothel in the UK. She only escaped when she miscarried. She was held in a detention centre for 16 months before lawyers from Duncan Lewis heard of her case. She had not been assessed as a trafficking victim despite telling the authorities she had been forced to work in a nail bar and a brothel where she was repeatedly raped. She also had scarring across her body consistent with torture. “I have seen a lot of women being raped and sold as sex slaves,” she said. “We left Vietnam with the promise that we could find work and make a lot of money. We didn’t know we would have to have sex with anyone … If I was ever sent back to Vietnam [again] … I’d rather die here.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressToufique Hossain responds to Home Office rejecting claims of child asylum seekers (Guardian) (19 December 2016)

 

Toufique Hossain, the director of public law at Duncan Lewis solicitors, is representing a large number of asylum seeker children dispersed across France and said he and his team had received reports on Friday from more than 12 children they are representing, all of whom are at different centres. “From the reports we have received it seems as if this is an organised operation between the Home Office and the French authorities. The children have been told verbally that their asylum claims have not succeeded, but they have not been given any reasons why in writing. This is absolutely shocking.” Hossain added: “The children are very upset but we are telling them not to run away.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressToufique Hossain comments on hundreds of child refugees in Calais 'have UK asylum claims rejected by Home Office' (Independent) (19 December 2016)

 

Toufique Hossain, director of public law at Duncan Lewis solicitors, represents a number of the children and told The Guardian that more than a dozen of children he represents had been told their applications have been rejected. He said: “From the reports we have received it seems as if this is an organised operation between the Home Office and the French authorities. The children have been told verbally that their asylum claims have not succeeded, but they have not been given any reasons why in writing. This is absolutely shocking.” Mr Hossain added: “The children are very upset but we are telling them not to run away.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHundreds of Calais child refugees have UK asylum claims rejected (UK Progressive) (19 December 2016)

 

Toufique Hossain, the director of public law at the UK-based Duncan Lewis solicitors, who is representing a large number of asylum seeker #children dispersed across France, said he and his team had received reports on Friday from more than 12 children they are representing, all of whom are at different centres. Hundreds of child asylum seekers in France who had been expecting to come to the UK have been told that the Home Office has rejected their claims. The children and teenagers dispersed from Calais in October have been advised to lodge their applications in France instead.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressJemma Garside appears on BBC's Victoria Derbyshire (BBC, November 2016) (16 December 2016)

 

Community Care Director Jemma Garside appeared on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire on Wednesday 2nd November to discuss care homes banning relatives who make a complaint about the quality of care. Jemma commented that “we at Duncan Lewis have seen a rise in this kind of case. They are often most concerning where the residents do not have capacity to make decisions as to whether they should have contact with relatives or where they should live. It is then down to the Local Authority to make a ‘best interests’ decision and if this is disputed then the case will be transferred to the Court of Protection.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressFamily & Child Care Solicitor Jaswinder Kalsi is awarded the Society of Asian Lawyers' Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award (Asian Voice, November 2016) (16 December 2016)

 

The Society of Asian Lawyers (SAL) aims to promote and develop the legal profession in the Asian community within the UK. SAL’s prestigious flagship event, the Annual Awards and Ball 2016, took place on Saturday 19th November 2016 in London. Jaswinder said of her award that she was “absolutely surprised, humbled and honoured”. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressChristmas and New Year are fast approaching. Do you need to review your licensing requirements? (Asian Voice) (10 December 2016)

 

Director Rebecca Thomas of Duncan Lewis' Clinical Negligence Department discusses licensing requirements over the festive season. This is the busiest time of year for licensed premises who should review their existing licensing arrangements to ensure that they are up-to-date. The Licensing Act 2003 states that licensing activities are: the sale of alcohol; the supply of alcohol in a qualifying club; the provision of regulated entertainment; the provision of late night refreshment. If you are providing any of these activities you will usually require a Premises License. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressToufique Hossain warns the guardian about the rising risk of Calais children in camp (28 November 2016)

 

Since 17 October, 233 children have arrived in the UK from Calais but many are still in the camp. Toufique Houssain, Director of Public Law and Immigration at Duncan Lewis, has warned that some of the children still in the Calais camp are at risk. Toufique specialises in law relating to vulnerable people including victims of torture and various other challenges to decisions made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

“We have been receiving texts from some of the children saying that bandits are coming into the containers and stealing their phones and their identity cards proving that they are minors,” he said. “We are very concerned to hear these reports.” . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe Huffington Post Sharia Councils A Parallel Legal System For Women Or A Requirement Of Faith (23 September 2016)

 

Aina Khan, Head of the Islamic Department at the law firm Duncan Lewis and campaigner for better protection for women believes she has the answer. She launched her campaign ‘Register `Our Marriage’ in 2014 to lobby for a change in the law and to spread awareness of lack of rights.

“The Marriage Act 1949 must be updated to require all faiths to register their marriages. This would mean Muslims must register religious ceremonies under civil law, just like they do in every Muslim country. (For decades, Imams abroad have faced criminal prosecution if they carry out an unregistered marriage and the husband is declared on a woman’s ID card. There are also civil systems in place for divorce). This change in our law will give British Muslim women the right to a civil divorce and a share of matrimonial finances. This civil divorce can be simply mirrored by an Islamic divorce from a Sharia Council within a few weeks and at low cost. This is already being done by my Islamic Department, which does not charge a client for an Islamic divorce if they have already obtained a civil one, and the fee of the Sharia Council is £100. In contrast, if there has not been a civil marriage, the fee of the Sharia Council is £300-£400 because of the extra work needed to investigate the divorce application. Plus I am increasingly hearing complaints of one year plus delays and misogyny, which causes deep distress to women who are already suffering.”
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Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe Law Society Advocacy Section Contempt A Solicitor Advocate Perspective (21 September 2016)

 

In the first part of our annual series celebrating the nominees for the Solicitor Advocate of the Year award at the Law Society’s Excellence Awards, Adam Tear, the 2013 winner, offers his expert take on handling committal hearings - few and far between, perhaps, but an ever-changing area of the law.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressWhy two marriage ceremonies are better than one (10 September 2016)

 

As wedding season is in full flow many bride and grooms round the country are making preparation for their big day preparing their lenghas/sherwanis and ensuring every function is perfected down to the minutest detail.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAsian Voice Nationwide Housing Advice in Drying Up (27 August 2016)

 

The Law Society has helpfully compiled a heat map showing the availability of housing advice covered by Legal Aid in each town and city across the UK, using data provided by the Legal Aid Agency in March 2016. It has become apparent that, due to the cuts made to the legal aid budget in April 2013, the numbers of providers are set to diminish further.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressChanges to Immigration Act 2016 (13 August 2016)

 

How does this affect you if you are a business owner or manager in a company? The Home Office has recently made changes to the Immigration Rules on employing migrant workers, resulting in tougher penalties and stricter sanctions on employers who employ illegal workers and people without the Right to work.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressWelwyn Hatfield Times Hatfield man sentenced for child porn (5 August 2016)

 

A Hatfield man who admitted downloading child pornography after police raided the home he shares with his parents walked free from court on Monday.

Baker Martin Silsby, 46, was given four months in prison for each of four offences of making indecent images of children at St Albans Crown Court, but recorder Justin Rouse suspended the sentence for 18 months.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressFree Movement Prosecution for telling the truth (26 July 2016)

 

In the first successful challenge to prosecutions under s.35 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004, the Administrative Court in R (on the application of JM (Zimbabwe)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1773 (Admin) held that the Home Office may not lawfully require the Claimant, under section 35 of the 2004 Act, to tell Zimbabwean officials that he agrees to return voluntarily.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe Law Society Managing fixed costs in clinical negligence work (22 July 2016)

 

The government’s plans to introduce fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims have been delayed, but are unlikely to be on hold for long. If this is the direction of travel, argues Rebecca Thomas, director in clinical negligence at Duncan Lewis, here’s how to make the regime work.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAsian Voice Chinese visitors spending spree lifts UK high streets (16 July 2016)

 

The British population have decided to leave the European Union by voting in favour of Brexit. The immediate aftermath of the UK referendum has created a global wave of uncertainty to our economy, social and political landscape.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressLawyer Monthly Immigration Detention in Order to Bring a Prosecution for Non-Cooperation With Removal is Unlawful (12 July 2016)

 

Legal 500 recommended law firm Duncan Lewis Solicitors are pleased to report the recent successful judicial review case of Ibrahim, R v SSHD where it was decided that the use of immigration detention in order to bring a prosecution for non-cooperation with removal is unlawful.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAsian Voice What protection is available for forced marriages in the UK (2 July 2016)

 

“The definition of a Forced Marriage is breaching one’s Human Rights, without the valid consent of either party. In such cases an element of duress is always a factor”. The key difference between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage is the issue of consent. Forced Marriages can involve physical, psychological, emotional, financial and sexual abuse.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressTOEIC Fraud Allegations (11 June 2016)

 

The ^TOEIC^ uproar began in 2014 when the Secretary of State of the Home Department made a decision to cancel particular individuals^ visas; who had to leave to remain in the United Kingdom on the ground that they received an English Language qualification on a "TOEIC" certificate by fraud.

In this Asian Voice article immigration legal specialist, Sasha Lal, discusses the current situation in relation to TOEIC certificates.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAsian Voice Is Your Home not Warm Safe or Dry (10 May 2016)

 

In this article in the Asian Voice Duncan Lewis Housing Director Diane Cowie discusses the obligations that Landlords owe to their tenants as part of the renting process.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAsian Voice A Guide to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa Route (5 May 2016)

 

In this article for the Asian Voice Shyam Dhir of the Duncan Lewis Immigration department discusses the options available to non-EEA skilled migrants to either enter or remain in the UK, who may be recognised as "Exceptionally Talented".. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAsian Voice The Family Legal Aid Changes in Practice (5 May 2016)

 

In this article for the Asian Voice Family and Childcare Director Emine Mehmet discusses the Legal Aid changes to the area of Family Law in practice.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe Times Lawyer of the Week Lewis Kett (21 April 2016)

 

We are very pleased to report that Duncan Lewis’ trainee immigration solicitor Lewis Kett is The Times’ lawyer of the week this week because of his work on the Afghan interpreter case. This is the first time a trainee solicitor has been featured.

The Times stated;

Lewis Kett, a trainee solicitor in the immigration department of Duncan Lewis, advised the Afghan military interpreter whose successful claim for asylum - after seven years - has resulted in the Home Office “reviewing” its policy of removing Afghan military interpreters to Afghanistan. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressHome Office subjects asylum seeker to 407-mile detour across UK (14 April 2016)

 

Duncan Lewis were featured in The Guardian regarding the case of Mohamed Ahmed.

Mohamed Ahmed was released from detention and sent to Liverpool, only to be returned to his accommodation in London, 22 miles from where he was being held.

Ahmed’s lawyer Harbinder Kaur Singh, of Duncan Lewis Solicitors, challenged his detention and argued that it was unlawful to detain him because he is a survivor of torture and has outstanding legal representations with the Home Office. Ahmed has not committed any crime and since he arrived in the UK in May 2012 has missed only one Home Office reporting session when he was ill, so is not considered at risk of absconding.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe Huffington Post UK Up to 1,000 Asylum Seekers at Risk of Being Returned to Afghanistan as Major UK Refugee Charity Challenges the Government's Policy (6 April 2016)

 

Duncan Lewis Solicitors featured in the Huffington Post in an article which discussed the matter of Asylum Seekers at risk of being returned to Afghanistan as major UK Refugee Charity challenges the government^s policy.

As many as 1,000 Afghan asylum seekers, many of whom entered the UK as unaccompanied children, are in danger of being deported from the UK back to
Afghanistan, according to law firm Duncan Lewis Solicitors. Cases will now be considered, after Home Secretary Theresa May won the right to resume deportations to Afghanistan in early March. The decision, made by the Court of Appeal, overturned an injunction imposed in May 2015, which prohibited all removals to Afghanistan due to fears over security. The Home Office told Duncan Lewis Solicitors seven months ago that the ban had prevented approximately 400 people from being deported. A spokesperson at the firm now estimates that this figure could be close to 1,000.
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Duncan Lewis:InThePressBBC News The young Afghans hiding to avoid deportation (30 March 2016)

 

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ case of HM Afghanistan was subject to an article in BBC News.

“Hundreds of failed Afghan asylum seekers who fled to the UK as children face deportation following a court ruling. Many have gone on the run, refusing to be sent back to the war-torn country.”
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Duncan Lewis:InThePressDaily Mail Former Afghan interpreter is granted asylum in the UK in major victory for the Mail after year officials tried to send him back home (29 March 2016)

 

A former Afghan military interpreter has been granted asylum. The 31-year-old, who worked with UK and other coalition forces on the front line against the Taliban for seven years, was this week told he could stay.

Only last April, immigration officials attempted to put him on a plane to Afghanistan.

Last night Lewis Kett, a lawyer from Duncan Lewis Solicitors, said the Home Office is reviewing its controversial policy of returning Afghan military interpreters to their home country.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressThe Guardian Home Office 'to review' policy on returning Afghan military interpreters (29 March 2016)

 

The Home Office is reviewing its controversial policy of returning Afghan military interpreters to their home country after granting asylum to a former interpreter it initially tried to remove from the UK, according to lawyers involved in the case.

Lewis Kett, the interpreter’s representative at Duncan Lewis solicitors, welcomed the news and said Home Office officials informed him at an earlier court hearing that a review of the policy of returning interpreters to Afghanistan is underway.

Kett said: “At the court hearing in January, a Home Office official explained that the policy team had been considering their position in general on Afghan interpreters and ... that they wanted to review their policy on interpreters in light of the substantial body of new evidence we had provided to them.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressDaily Mail Heavily pregnant woman fights for her life (4 March 2016)

 

A heavily pregnant woman is fighting for her life today after being found with a dead body above a London pub where Celebrity Big Brother star Daniella Westbrook has a bar job.

Duncan Lewis are representing the Defendant in this matter.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressGap-year students deciding asylum claims (1 March 2016)

 

Immigration lawyers condemn Home Office practice of recruiting undergraduates to make potentially life-or-death judgments.

Duncan Lewis Public Law Director Toufique Hossain was quoted in this article in The Guardian on the 28th February 2016;

“Asylum decisions are very much life or death matters. Complex areas of law are involved relating to EU charters, conventions and directives. It is very concerning that the Home Office is bringing in students to make these decisions and that all of the decision-makers are given just five weeks’ training.” He added: “There is no legal aid for asylum seekers to be accompanied by a solicitor when they make their initial claim for international protection. So it might just be them and a student. If the case is wrongly refused, it is harder for an asylum seeker to come back from the initial negative decision when their appeal is heard.”. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAsianVoiceCourtofAppeal (1 March 2016)

 

In this article for the Asian Voice, Duncan Lewis Family Law Director Sarah Jopling discusses Legal Aid for Domestic Violence victims in line with the newest Court of Appeal ruling.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAsian Voice Renting A Brave New World (19 February 2016)

 

In this article in the Asian Voice Duncan Lewis Housing Director Dianne Cowie discusses the difficulties posed to individuals seeking to rent property.. Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressAsianvoiceLucy (10 February 2016)

 

In this Asian Voice article, Duncan Immigration Director Solicitor Lucy Philps-Tate discusses the difficult decision faced by many couples choosing between a Fiance visa or a Spouse visa. . Read more...

Duncan Lewis:InThePressasianvoicekirstyr (19 January 2016)

 

Duncan Lewis Family Director Kirsty Richards penned this article for the Asian Voice discussing the Family law matter of the 26 week rule in Care Proceedings involving a parent(s) with mental health issues.. Read more...