In the High Court of Justice - Queen's Bench Division - Administrative Court
Mr Justice Garnham :
"Since early 2014 many hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and economic migrants have arrived in the European Union. A significant number have moved on from the first country in which they sought, or might have sought, sanctuary to the UK, arriving in this country irregularly or unlawfully. In a number of cases before this court the question has arisen as to whether the UK is entitled to return them to the country from which they arrived.
The circumstances of each such EU country are different. A number of test cases, each relating to arrivals from a different EU country, have been considered by the court. In R (on the Application of Tabrizagh) v SSHD  EWHC 1914 (Admin), Elisabeth Laing J considered the lawfulness of return to Italy. In MS v SSHD  EWHC 1095 (Admin) Lewis J also considered return to Italy, but he did so in the light of the decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ("ECtHR") in Tarakhel v Switzerland  60 EHRR 141, and new evidence about conditions in Italy. In Hamad v SSHD  EWHC 2511 (Admin), Kerr J considered the lawfulness of return to Malta. In Pour v SSHD  EWHC 401 (Admin), Ouseley J considered return to Cyprus. I am told that there are challenges to returns to Hungary currently being considered by the Court.
The cases before me concern the lawfulness of return to Bulgaria. The cases of four of the five claimants, namely HK, HH, SK and FK, also raise questions as to the lawfulness of the detention, pending removal. (Initials have been used, for convenience, throughout the proceedings and I adopt the same shorthand. In respect of two claimants, SK and FK anonymity orders have been granted.) The Claimants' arguments on each of those two issues was presented by a different advocate; Mr Symes on safety of return and Mr Chirico on unlawful detention.
It had been my intention to give a single judgment dealing with both issues. At about the time I completed the drafting of that judgment, however, both parties provided me with details of judgments from the Court of Justice of the European Union ("the CJEU") and opinions from the Advocate General which post-dated the hearing and which went to the unlawful detention issue. I indicated that I would welcome further oral submissions on the effect of those decisions and opinions. A date for the hearing of those further submissions is presently being fixed. Both parties confirmed, however, that their argument on those authorities would have no bearing on the safety of return cases. Accordingly, and with the approval of both parties, I have decided to produce a separate judgment on each of the two issues.
This judgment, which I have called "Khaled v SSHD No 1", addresses the arguments about safety of return to Bulgaria."