Judgment has been handed down today in the Court of Appeal, finding that asylum seekers who pose no risk of absconding, should not be held in the Detained Fast Track pending their appeals. Detention Action, represented by the MLP, argued that asylum-seekers who are found to pose no risk of absconding should be released while their appeals are processed. This ruling follows the judgement handed down by the High Court in July, which found that the operation of the Detained Fast Track as it operated carried ‘an unacceptably high risk of unfairness’. Work continued after the ruling to ensure that this judgement led to real change to this system, and today, the court upheld Detention Action’s appeal on the grounds that the policy on detaining asylum seekers during their appeals is not sufficiently clear and transparent. Further, the Court made an alternative finding that, on the material before it, the policy is not justified.
The Home Office has indicated that it will assess all asylum appellants on the Fast Track, and release all who are not at risk of absconding. It expects to have made those decisions by 19 December 2014.
Further work on this issue will continue. For more information please see our page on the case for further information.
29th July 2014 – Update on Detained Fast Track Challenge
On 25th July Mr Justice Ouseley made an Order regarding this Detention Action’s challenge to the operation of the Detained Fast Track. Find out more on the case page
9th July 2014 – Judgement in Challenge to the Detained Fast Track
Judgement has today been handed down in Detention Action vs SSHD in which the Migrants’ Law Project represented Detention Action, in a challenge to the way the Detained Fast Track system is operated.
Mr Justice Ouseley, giving judgement, found that there are “serious failings” in the system, particularly long delays in detainees obtaining access to legal advice and representation as a result of which “the DFT as operated carries an unacceptably high risk of unfairness.”
Early Day Motion to increase asylum support rates
Teresa Pearce MP (Labour) has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM No.99) on the High Court Judgement on Asylum Support. The EDM has cross party support, including from Peter Bottomley MP (Conservative) and Sarah Teather MP (Liberal Democrat) and calls on the government to raise asylum support rates to at least 70% of Income Support and to increase this in line with inflation annually (for the full text of the EDM see the link below).
It is now essential that we get as many MPs as possible to sign the EDM so that the government can see there is strong support for this issue prior to making its decision on how to respond to the court judgment.
Please write to your MP and ask them to sign the EDM to support an increase in support rates for asylum seekers.
You can download this draft letter to send to your MP by email or post
To find out who your MP is, type in your postcode at: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
You can find your MP’s e-mail address by clicking on their name at the same place
For the text of the EDM and to see if your MP has signed, go to: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/99
An urgent Parliamentary Question was tabled by Sarah Teather MP in the wake of the ruling on asylum support rates. The full text of the debate can be found here: House of Commons debate on asylum support rates. For more information on the case, please visit the case page