In a case brought by Duncan Lewis, a court ruled that a physical and mental examination must be arranged for every detainee to take place within 24 hours of their admission to a detention centre, unless the detainee does not consent to the examination.
On 13 July 2018 the Administrative Court ruled that the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) unlawfully detained a client of Duncan Lewis because he failed to provide the client with a medical examination by a doctor within 24 hours of his admission to either Campsfield IRC or Harmondsworth IRC.
Under the Detention Centre Rules 2001, every detainee is entitled to a physical and mental examination by a doctor within 24 hours of admission. The court found that in this case, the Claimant had not received an examination within 24 hours, and that there was no evidence that the Claimant refused to consent to such an examination. The Claimant did not receive an examination until one month after he was first detained. This examination led to a report being sent to the Secretary of State indicating that the Claimant was not fit for detention. The Claimant was released from detention shortly after.
The court ruled that the onus was on the SSHD to provide a medical examination to “every” detainee within 24 hours, absent a refusal of consent:
“20. …There is no indication that [the Claimant] refused consent to see a general practitioner for a Rule 34 examination (see Rule 34 (ii)). Rule 34 (i) requires every detained person to be given a physical and mental examination within 24 hours of admission. That it is to say that it must be arranged for every detainee and is only not to go ahead if the detained person does not consent to the examination…”
The court also confirmed that the initial health screening carried out by a nurse upon the Claimant’s arrival to Harmondsworth IRC did not amount to a Rule 34 assessment.
The court ruled that in this case the Claimant had been unlawfully detained from 24 hours after his admission to immigration detention until his release because of the breach of the Detention Centre Rules. The court further held that the Claimant was entitled to substantial damages for the entirety of the time he was unlawfully detained, minus the four days required for his release to be processed administratively.
The Claimant is represented by Ahmed Aydeed and Karen Staunton of the Public Law department at Duncan Lewis, who have instructed David Lock QC of Landmark Chambers, and Anthony Vaughan and Miranda Butler of Garden Court Chambers.
Director Ahmed Aydeed heads the Public Law team at our Birmingham branch. He has been at the forefront in the battle against unlawful detention of migrants in the UK, focussing in particular on the criminalisation and detention of trafficking victims and unaccompanied minor refugees. He has broad practice in the areas of public law & human rights, including; asylum, international protection, EU law, nationality law, administrative detention, discrimination and equality, family and child care proceedings.
Contact Ahmed on 020 7275 2668 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author, Karen Staunton, has recently joined Duncan Lewis’ Public Law department under Ahmed’s supervision, assisting in a wide number of judicial review claimant public law matters.
Contact Karen on 020 7275 2567 and KarenS@Duncanlewis.com.
Duncan Lewis Public Law – Unlawful Detention
Our Public Law team specialises in all immigration judicial review matters and costs litigation; Unlawful immigration detention cases with high net claims for damages; prison law claimants; immigration removal cases. We carry out both publicly and privately funded work.
The firm continues to be recommended by Legal 500, with the Public Law department previously recommended for its depth of experience in immigration and civil liberties challenges and is acknowledged as having a "stellar reputation in handling test cases". The Legal 500 2017 edition applauds the firm for its specialism in judicial review and Court of Appeal Cases. The Public law team is well established and known by the Legal Aid Agency, the Courts, and the Treasury Solicitor. Duncan Lewis have experience in all aspects of judicial review claimant work, including obtaining emergency orders and other interim relief to prevent breaches of human rights, following up judicial reviews with actions for damages in both the County and High Court and successfully pursuing judicial review matters to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.