Immigration Law >

Immigration Detention, Asylum and Deportation

"The foremost set leading the way at the London Immigration Bar, Garden Court Chambers houses an unsurpassable team of advocates who handle the full gamut of immigration matters."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

To contact the Immigration Clerks, please email immigrationclerks@gclaw.co.uk or phone

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

Share This Page

Email This Page

Garden Court’s immigration law barristers continue to be the premier collection of immigration practitioners at the Bar. We are ranked in Band 1 of the Chambers UK Bar Guide, with 26 individual barristers ranked for their immigration expertise.

The team is involved in the leading immigration detention, asylum and deportation cases in the Senior Courts, in influencing and lobbying government on law and policy in these areas, and media commentary.  We write, edit, or co-author all the authoritative texts on immigration and asylum law. We are committed to representing vulnerable clients.

The team represents clients at all levels from the First-tier Tribunal, to the Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. 

We work with NGOs and charities on test cases, policy work, campaigns and events. These include the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, the Anti Trafficking Legal Project, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Bail for Immigration Detainees, UNHCR UK, All Party Parliamentary Group on Visas & Immigration, Amnesty International, Equality & Human Rights Commission, Medical Justice, Young Roots, the Helen Bamber Foundation, Liberty and the Trafficking Law and Policy Forum.

FREE UK IMMIGRATION ADVICE FOR PEOPLE FLEEING UKRAINE

Members of the Garden Court immigration team are continuing to volunteer pro bono support for the Ukraine Advice Project and Public Access Qualified members of the team are providing pro bono initial advice via our public access scheme.

Please contact them via the Ukraine Advice Project website or via our public access clerks on pa@gclaw.co.uk for access to free initial advice.

immigration detention

We have been at the forefront of many leading cases over the past two decades, making significant contributions to establishing limits to the lawful use of immigration detention in respect of vulnerable people: victims of torture and serious ill-treatment; those who suffer from mental impairment or ill-health; children; pregnant women; victims of trafficking and modern slavery, as well as those who have suffered gender-based violence.

When our clients are unlawfully detained, our immigration detention barristers are committed to securing their release. We have a reputation for obtaining substantial compensation in the most difficult cases and for being at the cutting edge of immigration detention law.

Our team draws on its considerable expertise across immigration, civil actions against public authorities and public law. We have significant experience of pursuing civil damages claims on behalf of individuals held in immigration detention. This includes claims for false imprisonment, breaches of their human rights and other actions related to their treatment in detention.

We work closely with non-governmental organisations and solicitors to bring litigation strategically and on an individual basis to call to account the way immigration detention powers are exercised. Since aspects of the detention estate have been outsourced to different statutory agencies, we have inevitably built up expertise in bringing damages claims against multiple defendants.

Our immigration detention barristers are committed to achieving an outcome in the best interests of clients whether it be through the courts or via formal and informal means of mediation and alternative dispute resolution.

Given some of the very real difficulties in obtaining public funding, we do our best to provide flexible fee arrangements, including Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs) where appropriate.

To find out more about how we can assist you, please contact the Immigration Clerks on immigrationclerks@gclaw.co.uk or phone +44 (0)20 7993 7600

 

asylum & deportation

We are renowned as the UK's leading experts in this area of law. Our casework includes:

  • Strengthening the client’s case by pointing those instructing towards the best possible country evidence to support an asylum claim, advising on expert reports and advising on witness statements
  • Persuading judges to allow appeals by our knowledge of the latest asylum and international protection case law
  • Preventing deportation by putting together a watertight case on links to the UK

To find out more about how we can assist you, please contact the Immigration Clerks on immigrationclerks@gclaw.co.uk or phone +44 (0)20 7993 7600

Recent notable cases and news

Important judgment on the correct approach to assessing eligibility under ARAP

Our Nicola Braganza KC and Maria Moodie of the Garden Court Public Law Team successfully represented MA, instructed by Siobhan Foulner of Wilson Solicitors.

20 February 2024

Secretary of State for the Home Department’s Discretionary leave policy for trafficking victims declared unlawful: Upper Tribunal decision in VTL (Vietnam)

The Applicant was represented by Gráinne Mellon, Eva Doerr & Hannah Lynes of Garden Court Chambers. Counsel instructed by Ben Goldberg of Turpin Miller Solicitors.

8 February 2024

Home Secretary admits Article 3 ECHR breach and concedes unlawful detention claim for £105,000

The Claimant was represented by Alex Schymyck of Garden Court Chambers, led by Nick Armstrong KC of Matrix Chambers and instructed by Lewis Kett and Dominic Chambers of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

6 February 2024

David Jones on Friends of ERA Association Event speaker panel

David Jones of the Garden Court Immigration Team is a guest speaker at The UK Chapter of the Friends of ERA Association's online panel debate.

11 January 2024

Blog: Windrush - When is a Promise Not a Promise?

This blog is by Grace Brown of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration & Public Law Teams.

8 January 2024

Immigration Blog: Section 2 of the Illegal Migration Act - Duty to Remove

Blog by Eva Doerr and Isaac Ricca-Richardson of the Garden Court Immigration Team.

3 January 2024

Blog: Irena Sabic KC and Alex Grigg Reflect on the Rwanda Bill

Irena Sabic KC and Alex Grigg of our Public Law and Immigration teams at Garden Court provide reflections on the Rwanda Bill (personal views only) and with thanks to Liam Mckenna for his contribution.

22 December 2023

Home Secretary admits to Article 3 ECHR breach and Equality Act breach during Harmondsworth IRC evacuation

Alex Schymyck, of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team, instructed by Lewis Kett, Nicholas Hughes and Dominic Chambers of Duncan Lewis Solicitors for the Claimants.

30 November 2023

Immigration Blog: The expansion of immigration detention in the Illegal Migration Act 2023

Blog post by Alex Schymyck of the Garden Court Immigration Team.

1 November 2023

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 UK 2024

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500 UK 2024 rankings.

4 October 2023

Immigration Blog: Age Assessments - More Than Just a Number

Blog post by Georgie Rea of the Garden Court Immigration Team.

2 October 2023

Dangerous use of force, failure of safeguards and culture of dehumanisation - Brook House Inquiry report finds 19 instances of inhumane or degrading treatment

Stephanie Harrison KC leading Louise Hooper, Gordon Lee, Kirsten Heaven, Una Morris, and Alex Schymyck, of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests and Inquiries Team represented former detainees, instructed by Hamish Arnott of Bhatt Murphy.

19 September 2023

Immigration Blog: Illegal Migration Act's implications for victims of trafficking and modern slavery

Blog post by Nadia O'Mara of the Garden Court Immigration and Public Law Teams.

4 September 2023

Garden Court Chambers shortlisted for record-breaking TEN awards at The Legal 500 Bar Awards

We are delighted to announce that Garden Court Chambers has been shortlisted in a record-breaking ten categories at The Legal 500 Bar Awards.

12 July 2023

Rwanda Judgment: Court of Appeal rules government plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful

Sonali Naik KC, Adrian Berry, Mark Symes, Eva Doerr and Isaac Ricca-Richardson represent AS (Iran). David Sellwood is part of the team representing RM (Iran).

29 June 2023

Irena Sabic KC appointed Deputy King’s Bench Master

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that our colleague Irena Sabic KC has been appointed by the Lord Chief Justice as a Deputy King’s Bench Master, based at the Royal Courts of Justice.

11 May 2023

Duran Seddon, Edward Grieves & Irena Sabic of Garden Court Chambers & Associate Tenant Anna Morris appointed King’s Counsel today

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that Duran Seddon, Edward Grieves and Irena Sabic of Garden Court Chambers, and Associate Tenant Anna Morris, have been formally appointed King’s Counsel today.

27 March 2023

Garden Court Chambers Brook House Inquiry Team jointly wins Highly Commended Halsbury Rule of Law Award at LexisNexis Legal Awards 2023

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Court Chambers Brook House Inquiry Team has jointly won 'Highly Commended' for the Halsbury Rule of Law Award at the Lexis Nexis UK 2023 Awards.

24 March 2023

Brook House Inquiry into mistreatment and abuse in immigration detention recognised in shortlist for Halsbury Rule of Law Award at LexisNexis Legal Awards 2023

Members of the Garden Court Chambers Inquiries Team jointly shortlisted for the Halsbury Rule of Law Award at LexisNexis Legal Awards 2023 for their vital work on the Brook House Inquiry.

23 March 2023

Permission to appeal on additional grounds granted in challenge to Home Secretary decision to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda

Sonali Naik KC, Amanda Weston KC, Mark Symes and Isaac Ricca-Richardson of Garden Court Chambers represented AS (Iran) instructed by Paul Turner and Iain Palmer of Barnes Harrild and Dyer Solicitors.

14 March 2023

Court of Appeal rules refugees without any safe or legal route can be prosecuted for simply arriving

Sonali Naik KC, Jennifer Twite, Ali Bandegani and Raza Halim of Garden Court Chambers acted for the Defendant.

2 March 2023

High Court orders Home Office to provide Schedule 10 accommodation to destitute migrants

Alex Schymyck of Garden Court Chambers acted for the family, instructed by Rachel Stower and Victor Buehring of Luton Law Centre.

9 February 2023

Rwanda judgment: Permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal granted

Sonali Naik KC, Amanda Weston KC, Mark Symes, Eva Doerr, Isaac Ricca-Richardson, Alex Grigg, David Sellwood, Raza Halim and Ali Bandegani of Garden Court Chambers instructed for the claimants.

18 January 2023

Duran Seddon, Edward Grieves, Irena Sabic and Anna Morris to be appointed King’s Counsel

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that Duran Seddon, Edward Grieves, Irena Sabic and Anna Morris will be appointed King’s Counsel in 2023.

23 December 2022

Rwanda judgment: Home Secretary failed to properly consider if asylum seekers should not be relocated to Rwanda

Garden Court Chambers (with others) represented a number of claimants.

19 December 2022

Changes to the international protection regime under the Nationality & Borders Act – answers to eight burning questions

11 October 2022

Refugee Week - Healing in Turbulent Times

Maha Sardar of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team

20 June 2022

Garden Court Barristers secure injunctions from the Court of Appeal for last few asylum seekers on Rwanda Flight

The Garden Court team who secured consisted of Sonali Naik QC, Adrian Berry, Grace Brown, Mark Symes, Alex Grigg, Maha Sardar, Ella Gunn, Eva Doer, and Stephen Clark.

15 June 2022

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Sonali Naik QC and Irena Sabic act in 'deport first, appeal later' case where appellant killed by Taliban

Sonali Naik QC and Irena Sabic, of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team, represent the appellant, instructed by Nasir Ata of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

31 January 2022

Grace Brown wins BSN Lawyer of the Year at UK Diversity Legal Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce Grace Brown is the BSN Lawyer of the Year, in the Chambers category, at the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2021

2 December 2021

The Nationality and Borders Bill - Legal Opinion prepared by Garden Court Barristers for Women for Refugee Women

In legal advice prepared for the charity Women for Refugee Women, Stephanie Harrison QC, Emma Fitzsimons, Ubah Dirie & Hannah Lynes of Garden Court Chambers state the Nationality & Borders Bill will “disproportionately adversely disadvantage women & girls

25 November 2021

Past Notable Cases

 

Full details of our notable immigration and asylum cases can be found on our immigration news pages.

High Court declares Home Secretary’s investigation into immigration detention abuse at Brook House inadequate (2019)
In a landmark judgment the High Court declared that a proposed Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) investigation instigated by the Home Secretary into serious mistreatment and abuse of detainees at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre (IRC), by officers of the private security firm G4S, is inadequate and lacks the powers to comply with the UK government’s investigative duties under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

KO (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) [2018] 1 WLR 5273
A Supreme Court test case on the proper interpretation of the reasonableness of removal of children from the UK and in the context of deportation whether that was ‘unduly harsh’ on the child and the meaning of that phrase within section 117 A to D of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Further advice is being given on an application to ECtHR. See coverage in Free Movement.
 
Conditions at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre (2018)
Successful legal challenges against the Home Office on behalf of claimants relating to conditions at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre. On 1 February 2018, the High Court found that the Home Secretary had failed to consider how conditions might discriminate against Muslim detainees who were forced to pray next to uncovered toilets. The High Court also found the Home Secretary’s approach to allow smoking in Brook House was “unlawful”.  The case was reported widely in the media including BBC, The Guardian and The Independent.

Court of Appeal – detention of asylum seekers unlawful under Article 28 Dublin III (2018)
In a majority decision, the Court of Appeal delivered a significant judgment affecting the lawfulness of detention of asylum seekers subject to the Dublin III Regulation. Garden Court counsel represented the appellants who were entitled to damages for the tort of false imprisonment. See coverage in The Guardian.

“A child is foremost a child before he or she is a refugee”  
Court of Appeal provides new guidance to tribunals to ensure children and vulnerable persons have their voices heard in asylum proceedings. AM (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Lord Chancellor [2017] EWCA Civ 1123

Supreme Court rules ‘Deport first, Appeal later’ system is unlawful.  
Landmark judgment which emphasised the importance of the right to an effective appeal. Arguably, it means that all previous removals under this ‘deport first, appeal later’ power were similarly unfair. Covered by the BBC and The Guardian.  R (Kiarie; Byndloss) v SSHD [2017] UKSC 42

High Court rules government redefinition of torture in immigration detention policy is unlawful
Represented the charity, Medical Justice, and two victims of gender-based violence who were detained in immigration detention. This test case challenged the adoption by the Home Secretary of a more restrictive definition of torture in breach of Articles 3 and 5 ECHR. The High Court found the Home Office policy to be unlawful. The judge ruled that hundreds of victims of torture have been wrongly locked up in immigration detention centres. See coverage in The Guardian 

Failure of Secretary of State to have due regard to equality duties in considering asylum claims in detention. Test case challenging the lawfulness of the Home Office’s new procedure for deciding claims for asylum by people in immigration detention – the “Detained Asylum Casework” system. High Court ruled that the SSHD had breached the duty in the Equality Act to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination when implementing her policy. Covered by the Free Movement blog and the Electronic Immigration NetworkHossain and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 1331 (Admin)

Test case representing 35 vulnerable child asylum seekers from Calais camp.  
Test case regarding 35 child asylum seekers pursuing legal action against the Government. The children were refused entry to the UK and are seeking written decisions and reasons for the determination that it was not in their ‘best interests’ to be relocated to the UK. More information via The Guardian, The Evening Standard, The Telegraph and The IndependentZS v Secretary of State for the Home Department

R (on the application of BA (Eritrea)) v SSHD : R (on the application of ST (Sri Lanka)) v SSHD (2016) EWCA Civ 458
The Court of Appeal provided guidance on the correct approach to evaluating the circumstances in which a doctor’s report under the Home Office’s Enforcement Instructions and Guidance Chapter 55 rule 35 could amount to independent evidence of torture for the purposes of deciding whether a failed asylum seeker should be detained pending deportation.

Successful judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision to detain pregnant women 
Public interest challenge brought against the SSHD’s policy and practice of detaining pregnant women under immigration powers. The Home Office conceded the case, agreed to review its policy on pregnant women in detention, issue a new Detention Service Order and pay PA compensation for unlawful detention. Covered by The GuardianPA v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD)

Suspension of detained fast-track system.  
Successful challenge to the legality of the Detained Fast Track Asylum system leading to its suspension and the Home Secretary admitting the existing process was unfair and breached the Equality Act 2010 and the UK’s trafficking obligations. Covered by the BBC and The GuardianR(JM and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; R (PU and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2014-2015)

ZSS v SSHD [2015] EWCA Civ 1137 
Guideline case arising from two linked appeals on the correct construction of the Home Office’s policy on detaining children whose age are disputed. In dismissing the Home Office’s appeal, the Court of Appeal upheld the findings of the trial judge that the Home Office policy required the Secretary of State to make necessary inquiries into the reasons for the conclusion of a local authority age assessment and to satisfy herself that it is a lawful assessment of age before she is entitled to treat the putative child as an adult.
 
Das v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 45; [2014] 1 WLR 3538
The Court of Appeal held that the threshold for the Home Office’s Enforcement Instructions and Guidance Chapter 55 for detaining those with a serious mental illness does not require the individual’s mental health to be so serious that it requires in-patient hospitalisation. In overturning the High Court’s decision, the Court of Appeal held that such a threshold, as held by the court below, was contrary to the humane objects and purpose of the policy.

Details about more of our high-profile immigration and asylum cases can be found on the news pages of our website.

Contact team

The Team

Laurie Fransman KC

Year of Call: 1979

Year of Silk: 2000

Stephanie Harrison KC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2013

Sonali Naik KC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2018

Amanda Weston KC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2018

Nicola Braganza KC

Year of Call: 1992

Year of Silk: 2022

Duran Seddon KC

Year of Call: 1994

Year of Silk: 2023

Edward Grieves KC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2023

Irena Sabic KC

Year of Call: 2002

Year of Silk: 2023

Kathryn Cronin

Year of Call: 1980

Peter Jorro

Year of Call: 1986

Rebecca Chapman

Year of Call: 1990

Valerie Easty

Year of Call: 1992

Navita Atreya

Year of Call: 1994

David Jones

Year of Call: 1994

Grace Brown

Year of Call: 1995

Louise Hooper

Year of Call: 1997

Patrick Lewis

Year of Call: 1997

Adrian Berry

Year of Call: 1998

Gordon Lee

Year of Call: 1998

Ronan Toal

Year of Call: 1999

Bojana Asanovic

Year of Call: 2000

Sadat Sayeed

Year of Call: 2001

Colin Yeo

Year of Call: 2002

Maha Sardar

Year of Call: 2002

Abigail Smith

Year of Call: 2003

Andrew Eaton

Year of Call: 2004

Mark Symes

Year of Call: 2004

Greg Ó Ceallaigh

Year of Call: 2006

Alex Grigg

Year of Call: 2007

Richard Reynolds

Year of Call: 2007

Helen Foot

Year of Call: 2008

Gemma Loughran

Year of Call: 2008

Ali Bandegani

Year of Call: 2009

Raza Halim

Year of Call: 2009

Gráinne Mellon

Year of Call: 2010

Emma Fitzsimons

Year of Call: 2011

Bijan Hoshi

Year of Call: 2011

Taimour Lay

Year of Call: 2011

Maria Moodie

Year of Call: 2011

Grace Capel

Year of Call: 2012

David Sellwood

Year of Call: 2012

Stephen Clark

Year of Call: 2013

Ubah Dirie

Year of Call: 2014

Matthew Ahluwalia

Year of Call: 2015

Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Zehrah Hasan

Year of Call: 2016

Steven Galliver-Andrew

Year of Call: 2018

Navida Quadi

Year of Call: 2018

Eva Doerr

Year of Call: 2019

Rehab Jaffer

Year of Call: 2019

Georgie Rea

Year of Call: 2019

Isaac Ricca-Richardson

Year of Call: 2020

Alex Schymyck

Year of Call: 2020

Hannah Lynes

Year of Call: 2021

Josephine Fathers

Year of Call: 2022

Associate Members

Jo Wilding

Year of Call: 2007

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

+ View more awards