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Current Detained Fast Track Immigration System to be Suspended (2 July 2015)

Date: 02/07/2015
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Current Detained Fast Track Immigration System to be Suspended

Today the Government announced in a statement to Parliament that the Detained Fast System is to be suspended owing to the risk of unfairness to vulnerable applicants.

In JM and Others v SSHD, the claimants challenged the lawfulness of the operation of the Detained Fast Track during the processing of their claims in general, and the particular failure of the Secretary of State to safeguard against placing vulnerable prima facie victims of torture and other serious ill-treatment including sexual violence, exploitation (including human trafficking) and significant mental and physical health problems, which required further clinical investigation within the DFT.

That case was conceded by the Secretary of State at the doors of court who accepted the manifold failures within the DFT which she provided to acknowledge by way of a Ministerial Statement that was made today. The final terms of the settlement of the case will be formalised before Mr Justice Blake tomorrow (Court 19, High Court).

Duncan Lewis welcomes the Minister’s statement today. It confirms what we have known for a long time. Too many vulnerable people have suffered at the hands of a system which has only now obtained the hiatus it has long demanded.

Toufique Hossain, Director of Public Law at Duncan Lewis says:

In these cases, our clients were detained on the fast track system. Our clients are torture victims; rape victims; victims of serious harm. Our clients told the Home Office as best they could of their trauma, through the Home Office’s own internal system, which we now know clearly didn’t work. These were four clients but indicative of a significantly wider group of vulnerable people locked up; disbelieved and refused asylum. Some have been removed. Some still languish in detention. Our cases, coupled with the Government’s change of position, will pave the way for countless unlawful detention claims and reviews to negative asylum decisions.

Legal Team:

Duncan Lewis:

Garden Court Chambers: Stephanie Harrison QC, Shu Shin Luh; Raza Halim; Leonie Hirst.

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