The MLP has been undertaking work around issues of concern with regards to the detention of asylum seekers and migrants since its inception.
In partnership with some NGOs, the MLP has been working to challenge the detention of those who may be torture survivors, and especially around Rule 35 (3) of the Detention Centre Rules, which is a mechanism that allows for the release of immigration detainees where they have been subjected to torture outside the UK.
The MLP is working on many issues arising from the case, including problems in the Detained Fast Track (DFT) process. We recently represented Detention Action in a challenge to the DFT, and judgement in that case was handed down in July 2014.
The Detained Fast Track is a way of assessing asylum claims where individuals are detained throughout the process; there have been concerns about access to justice in this process for some time, as cases are concluded very swiftly, and there was no right of appeal outside the process.
The case of our client in the Rule 35 (3) case involved some issues around DFT. In December, the MLP was granted permission to apply for judicial review of a decision by the Upper Tribunal to refuse an application for permission to appeal in a case where the claimant’s application for asylum was determined within the DFT process at Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre.
In order to ensure that this positive decision is useful to as many people within the process as possible, and those groups helping them, Sonal Ghelani and Charlotte Kilroy of Doughty Street Chambers have prepared a note, which was disseminated widely, and is also available at our Forum. We hope that the note is of help to non-advice giving NGOs that work with detainees in Colnbrook, Harmondsworth and Yarl’s Wood Detention Centres. It includes a pro forma for immigration detainees to fill in to assist them in making appeals.