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Duncan Lewis wins Judicial Review case against the Secretary of State’s decision to treat student as an illegal entrant and to detain him. (25 October 2013)

Date: 25/10/2013
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Duncan Lewis wins Judicial Review case against the Secretary of State’s decision to treat student as an illegal entrant and to detain him.

Ejovi Lawrence Efenure v SSHD [2013] EWHC 3072 (Admin) Queen’s Bench Division

Duncan Lewis’ case of Ejovi Lawrence Efenure was handed down on 16 October 2013 by Hon. Professor Elizabeth Cooke, Deputy Judge of the High Court.

Acting for the claimant, Duncan Lewis sought judicial review of four decisions made by the Secretary of State, namely, the decision to treat him as an illegal entrant; the decision to certify his human rights claim; the decision to cancel his leave and seeking damages in respect of the period spent in detention, arguing that such immigration detention was unlawful.

The Claimant entered the UK on 2 October 2010 with a Tier 4 student visa valid until 31 January 2012 to study for an MSc degree in Computing at the University of Greenwich. In December 2010 he changed course from MSc Computing to MSC Software Engineering on the basis that the key word ‘Engineer’ would enable recruiters to see what his skills were. He intended to graduate in December 2011 but in September 2011 he was advised by his tutors to take some extra time over his project and so the submission date was subsequently changed to January 2012.

He needed to make an application to extend his student visa but he could not meet the financial requirements. Having completed research on the internet he concluded that he could apply for discretionary leave to remain without paying a fee. On 29 January 2012 he attended the Public Enquiry Office in Croydon to ask about this. He was told that he could only seek discretionary leave to remain if he applied for asylum.

He was subsequently interviewed by the Secretary of State and a decision was made that he had entered the UK by deception in 2010 and was served with form IS151A as an illegal entrant, detained and placed on the Detention Fast Track Process. His asylum and Article 8 claim were certified as clearly unfounded and he was served with removal directions.

He applied to seek permission for Judicial Review and on the 14 June 2012 he was granted permission by Hon John Howell QC. He was released from detention on 15 June 2012 and subsequently completed his degree and graduated with an MSc.

The Judge made an order quashing the Secretary of State’s decision on 29 January 2012 to treat the claimant as an illegal entrant and made a declaration that the claimant’s immigration detention during this period from 29 January 2012 to 15 June 2012 was unlawful. The judge ordered the Secretary of State to pay damages to the Claimant.

Veejay Sharma of Duncan Lewis – Solicitor for Claimant

Joanna Wilding of Garden Court Chambers – Counsel for Claimant

Claimant’s solicitor, Veejay Sharma, is an Immigration Law Director within Duncan Lewis’s Immigration Department and he specialises in representing vulnerable clients in detention and pursuing unlawful detention judicial review claims.

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