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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."

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Top Ranked Chambers UK Bar 2019
The Legal 500 UK Top Tier Set 2019

Garden Court’s Immigration Team continues to be the premier collection of immigration practitioners at the Bar. We remain the only set ranked in Band 1 of the Chambers UK Bar Guide, with 25 individual barristers ranked for their immigration expertise.

The team is involved in the leading cases in the Senior Courts, in influencing and lobbying governments on law and policy, in media commentary, and in consultancy work internationally. The team writes, edits, or co-authors all the authoritative texts on immigration, asylum and nationality law. We are committed to representing vulnerable clients. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Asylum and international protection
  • Family and children immigration
  • National security, terrorism and international armed conflicts
  • Human rights
  • EU free movement
  • Commercial and business immigration (including the Points Based System)
  • Sponsor licences for businesses and colleges
  • British nationality
  • Trafficking
  • Deportation
  • Third country removals
  • Foreign criminal matters
  • Immigration detention
  • Migrant welfare
  • Private immigration work, acting for individuals from the highest echelons of international politics, business and sport

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. Team members regularly act in the most sensitive and controversial cases, often in the national security context before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

The team provides strategic advice in other countries, working in partnership with local lawyers, and on applications from other countries to international tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights. Members of the team also engage in international policy work through a variety of institutions including UNHCR and the Council of Europe.

Domestically, outside of their formal practice, members work with NGOs and community organisations on policy work. These include ILPA, ATLeP, JCWI, Liberty, Amnesty International, and the Trafficking Law and Policy Forum.

Notable Cases


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.

In addition, Garden Court was instructed in a Judicial review of a refusal by the Home Secretary to order an independent public inquiry into the abuse scandal at Brook House exposed by BBC Panorama. Following this JR, in October 2018 the Home Office in a major U-turn agreed to an Article 3-compliant investigation by the Prisons & Probation Ombudsman into abuse at Brook House. 
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

Significant victory for families separated by the ‘minimum income requirement’ immigration rules. This Supreme Court judgement gives significant hope to couples and families unable to show earnings above £18,600 or unable to evidence it in the manner required by the July 2012 Immigration Rules. Covered by The Guardian.  MM (Lebanon) and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 10

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

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

SIAC test case defeating Home Secretary’s use of closed material in citizenship refusal cases.  
A test case for approximately 60 cases that were waiting to be heard in SIAC, after being transferred from the High Court. The High Court found in our favour by ruling that the Home Secretary was not entitled to defend the refusal of citizenship using closed material without disclosing the underlying material which founded the decision. Secretary of State for the Home Department v Special Immigration Appeals Commission,  and AHK and 5 Others [2015] EWHC 681 (Admin) High Court

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)

Landmark Supreme Court judgment on obligations owed to trafficked workers.  
Test case on the obligations under domestic and international law owed to trafficked workers from overseas. A team of Garden Court barristers were instructed to represent Anti-Slavery International. The Supreme Court ruled that victims of trafficking are entitled to compensation for mistreatment even if their entry into the UK was illegal. Covered in The Guardian, The Independent and The TelegraphHounga v Allen [2014] UKSC 47

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

Contact team


We have authored or contributed to all of the authoritative texts on immigration law including:

  • Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice (Butterworths LexisNexis, 9th edition 2015)
  • Immigration Appeals and Remedies Handbook (Bloomsbury, 2015)
  • Immigration Practice and Procedure in Family Proceedings (Jordans, 2013)
  • Fransman’s British Nationality Law (Bloomsbury Professional, 3rd edition 2011)
  • JCWI Guide to the Points-Based System (JCWI, 2011)
  • Halsbury’s Laws of England (Butterworths 5th ed, vol. 4 2011) British Nationality
  • Asylum Law and Practice (Bloomsbury, 2nd edition 2010)
  • Blackstone’s Guide to the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • Support for Asylum Seekers and other Migrants (Legal Action Group, 2009)
  • HJT and ILPA’s Home Office Policy Manual (HJT, 2009)
  • Blackstone’s Guide to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Jackson and Warr’s Immigration Law and Practice (Tottel, 4th edition 2008)


The Team

View full team

Latest News

Home Office concedes that they unlawfully detained a potential victim of trafficking for almost six months in immigration detention day before trial in High Court

The Claimant was represented by Stephanie Harrison QC, Louise Hooper and Emma Fitzsimons of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Shalini Patel at Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

13 February 2019

Major reforms to immigration detention decision-making proposed in report of the Joint Human Rights Committee

Following a wide-ranging inquiry into the use of immigration detention by the Home Office, the report of the Joint Human Rights Committee of both Houses of Parliament is now available.

7 February 2019

Further Guidance from the Courts on Article 8 post Rhuppiah

David Jones of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team has been instructed by Sutovic and Hartigan Solicitors to prepare the grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court.

6 February 2019

Gemma Loughran and Kirsten Heaven appointed Fee Paid Judges of the First-Tier Tribunal – Immigration and Asylum Chamber

We are delighted to announce that Gemma Loughran and Kirsten Heaven have been appointed Fee Paid Judges of the First-Tier Tribunal – Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

30 January 2019

Northern Ireland appeal case on 'Chen parents' in Court of Justice of the European Union

Garden Court’s Gráinne Mellon and Ronan Toal appeared in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last week on behalf of the AIRE Centre who were intervenors in the case of Bajarati v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] ECR 1.

28 January 2019

High Court orders new inquest into Home Office role in Windrush citizen Dexter Bristol's death

Una Morris represented Sentina D’Artanyan-Bristol, instructed by Irène Nembhard of Birnberg Peirce.

28 January 2019

Dubs Amendment: High Court finds Home Office unlawfully failed to publish policy and breached its duty of candour

The claimant was represented by Sonali Naik QC, Bryony Poynor and Miranda Butler of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team.

22 January 2019

Appeal rights under the 2016 EEA Regulations are to be introduced for extended family members (EFM)

Grace Brown represented the Claimant. She was instructed by Sharif Khan of Oliver Hasani Solicitors.

14 January 2019

Miranda Butler acts in European Court of Human Rights challenge by Azerbaijani journalist

Miranda Butler acted for the interveners, a coalition of NGOs including PEN International and Privacy International.

10 January 2019

Dublin returns to Italy give rise to an arguable breach of article 3 ECHR

Greg Ó Ceallaigh acts for the lead claimant in the successful challenge to the lawfulness of removals to Italy.

4 December 2018

Home Office in major U-turn agrees to Article 3-compliant investigation by Prisons & Probation Ombudsman into abuse at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre

Stephanie Harrison QC of Garden Court Chambers represented one of the abuse victims (MA).

11 October 2018

Court of Appeal - detention of asylum seekers unlawful under Article 28 Dublin III

In a majority decision, the Court of Appeal (Etherton and Peter Jackson LLJ; Sales LJ dissenting) delivered a significant judgment affecting the lawfulness of detention of asylum seekers subject to the Dublin III Regulation.

8 October 2018

Bail accommodation failures led to unlawful detention of man despite grant of bail in principle

The claimant, Mr Diop, was represented in the High Court by Anthony Vaughan of Garden Court Chambers.

26 July 2018

Medical examination failures led to torture victim’s unlawful detention by Home Secretary

KG was represented by Anthony Vaughan and Miranda Butler instructed by Ahmed Aydeed of Duncan Lewis.

13 July 2018

Supreme Court to give guidance on the right to private life under Article 8, ECHR

David Sellwood represented the appellant, led by Hugh Southey QC at Matrix Chambers.  They were instructed by Muhunthan Paramesvaran at Wilson Solicitors LLP. 

13 July 2018

Home Office admits it unlawfully detained and separated a father from his daughter, who remained in care and at imminent risk of adoption

The father and daughter are represented by Stephanie Harrison QC and Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers.

11 July 2018

Jo Wilding interviewed on BBC Radio about Roman Abramovich's investor visa

Jo Wilding was interviewed on BBC 5 Live, BBC Scotland and other local BBC stations about the apparent delay to Roman Abramovich's investor visa.

31 May 2018

Permission granted to seek public inquiry into systematic abuse at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre

Garden Court's Stephanie Harrison QC was instructed with Alex Goodman of Landmark Chambers, by Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

23 May 2018

Victory in 'Windrush' case

Garden Court's Helen Foot was instructed by Emma Terenius of Wilson Solicitors LLP. 

11 May 2018

Court of Appeal overturns decision that Pakistani national married to British woman should return to Pakistan to apply again for entry clearance

Greg Ó Ceallaigh of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team was instructed by Liam Doyle at M&K Solicitors. 

29 March 2018

Peter Jorro joined leading US immigration attorney in a presentation for the Raindance Film Festival, London

Peter presented on 26 February on the topic of US/UK Work Permits for the Film & Television Industry.

28 February 2018

SM (Algeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKSC 9

Navtej Singh Ahluwalia of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team appeared for the intervener, Coram Children’s Legal Centre.

19 February 2018

Supreme Court rules against Home Office on SIAC powers to impose bail conditions

Stephanie Harrison QC and Anthony Vaughan of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration and Public Law Teams represented the respondent.

8 February 2018

High Court rules on “discriminatory and unlawful practices” at Brook House. Muslim immigration detainees forced to worship in degrading conditions.

The claimants were represented by Stephanie Harrison QC, Raza Halim and Stephen Simblet and instructed by Duncan Lewis Public Law.

2 February 2018

Sonali Naik named Lawyer of the Week in the Times

Sonali Naik, who will be appointed Queen's Counsel in February, has been named Lawyer of the Week.

12 January 2018

Garden Court Chambers welcomes Miranda Butler to the Immigration Team

We are thrilled to announce that Miranda Butler has joined the Immigration Team at Garden Court Chambers.

11 January 2018

Nicola Braganza invited by the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU to speak on multiple discrimination in Brussels

On 14 November 2017 she presented to the Working Group on Social Questions of the Council of the EU.

23 November 2017

Statutory guidance on adults at risk under scrutiny

Following the judgment in Medical Justice and others, Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers says it is inevitable that the statutory guidance will need to be reviewed.

6 November 2017

Principal Judge of Asylum Support Tribunal allows “Landmark” Case

Bryony Poynor represented the family pro bono instructed by the Asylum Support Appeals Project.

2 November 2017

Louise Hooper to deliver training at event co-organised by UNHCR and Council of Europe in Madrid on 16 October

Louise Hooper will be delivering the training in her capacity as Council of Europe expert on migration and gender.

13 October 2017

High Court rules Government redefinition of torture in immigration detention policy is unlawful

Stephanie Harrison QC and Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers represented Medical Justice and two victims of gender based violence.

10 October 2017

In the shadow of Brexit: Anti-Slavery Day 2017

In October’s edition of Legal Action Magazine, Shu Shin Luh and Silvia Nicolaou Garcia consider what progress has been made in abolishing modern-day slavery in the UK, seven years on from the first Anti-Slavery Day.

6 October 2017

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