Duncan Lewis Solicitors represents the Claimant, RS, in judicial review proceedings. The present decision concerns an application for interim relief for release from immigration detention on bail.
RS is a national of Jamaica. He was detained on 18 November 2020 and served with directions for his deportation to Jamaica by Charter Flight on 2 December 2020. His deportation was deferred after he made an asylum claim. The evidence submitted on his behalf included an expert psychiatric report which commented on his extremely poor mental health and the adverse effect that his continued detention was having on his mental health symptoms.
After the Home Office decided that he should remain in detention, an application was made to the First-tier Tribunal for his release on bail. Bail was refused on 17 December 2020, and in her decision the judge relied on assertions made by the Home Office Presenting Officer that RS could be removed within seven weeks.
On 22 December 2020, judicial review proceedings were issued in the High Court on the following grounds:
- The Claimant is detained in breach of the Defendant’s policy: ‘Adults at risk in immigration detention’
- The Claimant cannot be removed within a reasonable time period and his detention is in breach of the Hardial Singh principles and Chapter 55 of the Defendant’s ‘Enforcement Instructions and Guidance (‘EIG’)
- The Defendant materially misled the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal (‘the FTT’) during the Claimant’s bail application
- The Claimant’s case is not suitable for the Detained Asylum Casework procedure; and
- The Claimant’s detention is in breach of Article 5 of the ECHR.
An application was made for interim relief for RS’ release from detention. The judge made an order for an expedited timeframe for the judicial review proceedings. This included directions for the application for interim relief to be considered by a judge in early January 2021. We renewed the application for interim relief, and at a hearing on 24 December 2020, interim relief was refused.
A hearing took place on 12 January 2021 before Timothy Corner QC sitting as Deputy High Court Judge to consider RS’ application for interim relief for his release from detention. In his judgment, handed down on 14 January 2021, the judge ordered that RS must be released from detention. In his decision, the judge made the following observations at paragraph 71:
“Having regard to the uncertain timescale for the Claimant’s removal, his substantial compliance with his bail conditions for several months in 2020 which is relevant to the risk of reoffending, harm and absconding, and his serious mental health issues and the effect on him of continuing detention, I think there is a strong prima facie case that his continued detention is unlawful”
, solicitor in the public law department, instructing Gordon Lee of Garden Court Chambers.