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Reported Case

Habeb, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 177 (Admin) (22 January 2021) (15 February 2021)

Date: 15/02/2021
Duncan Lewis, Reported Case Solicitors, Habeb, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 177 (Admin) (22 January 2021)

A man who was unlawfully detained with no realistic prospect of being deported must be freed, a judge has held in a ruling handed down in Saad Habeb and the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Our client is an Egyptian national, who arrived in the UK as a minor on 21 March 2013 and claimed asylum. On 24 December 2020, he issued the proceedings that follow, saying that he should be released from his unlawful detention as there was no realistic prospect of him being deported, even though he did not oppose the removal.

The claimant had been detained under immigration powers since 13 May 2019 for over 19 months to effect his deportation to Egypt. A deportation order was made on 26 June 2019.
The claimant did not resist his own deportation. However, his case was that the defendant's own officers accepted in clear terms that there was no prospect of removal, and that he should be released.

The detention is alleged to be unlawful for three reasons. Firstly, that his detention was an unlawful as a breach of Hardial Singh Principles 2, 3 and 4, in that the claimant was detained for a period that was not reasonable in all the circumstances. Secondly, that before the expiry of the reasonable period, it became apparent that the defendant would not be able to effect deportation within that reasonable period and should have released the claimant. And thirdly, the claimant had failed to act with reasonable diligence and expedition to effect the deportation.

The second basis for the claimant's complaint of unlawful detention was that the defendant had failed to authorise the claimant's detention on a number of occasions in breach of the Supreme Court decision of Kambadzi v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] 1 WLR 1299. Third, it was argued the claimant's detention was unlawful as a breach of the defendant's published policy in relation to adults at risk.

The Home Office resisted the application, arguing that liberty should be withheld on the basis that the claimant presented a risk of absconding and reoffending.

The judge held that there had been a breach of policy for continuing to detain an adult at risk.

He went on to say that he “satisfied that there is a strong prima facie case that Hardial Singh Principles 2, 3 and 4 have been breached, that there has been an unlawful failure to authorise the claimant's detention and that there has been a failure to comply with policy. He ordered that the client be released from detention.

The Home Office later conceded that the claimant was unlawfully detained for a significant period of his detention and in December 2021 agreed to pay the claimant £90,000 in compensation.

Representation: public law and immigration solicitor Lewis Kett, instructing Laura Dubinsky, Doughty Street Chambers, and Raza Halim, Garden Court Chambers.


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