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Raza Halim

  • Call: 2009
Raza Halim
"A rising star who has been involved in a number of cutting edge immigration cases."

Legal 500, 2019

"He is the real deal and stands out as a strong junior in a very talented set."

Legal 500


Raza specialises in public law, with an emphasis on refugee law and human rights. His core areas of practice concern nationality law, administrative detention, international protection and general immigration law, as well as interlocking areas concerning criminal law and mental health.

Raza has appeared before the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Administrative Court and First Tier and Upper Tribunals.

Raza undertakes national security work in SIAC, acting in deprivation of citizenship and naturalisation cases and applications for bail.

Raza is often instructed in urgent applications seeking injunctive relief against removal, working with NGOs and medical charities to that end.

In June 2016 Raza was profiled as Lawyer of the Week in The Times, having acted in judicial review proceedings to obtain the release of a 16-year-old Syrian child refugee who had been detained for a month with adults by the Home Office.

Notable Cases

Hussein & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department & G4S (Liberty intervening) [2018] EWHC 213

High Court held that the Secretary of State had interfered with and indirectly discriminated against the rights of Muslims protected under Articles 9 and 14 ECHR to properly observe their faith through prayer owing to the conditions of the detention centre, to include being forced to pray next to dirty, recently used, open toilet pans, in crowded rooms, while locked in overnight.

The Court further held that the Secretary of State had failed ‘to have any regard’ to her statutory duty under the Equality Act 2010 to conduct an assessment as to the particular position of Muslim detainees within Brook House.

Further, the Claimants succeeded in showing that the Secretary of State (during which period the Prime Minister occupied the Ministerial post) for 7 years had knowingly operated, a policy permitting smoking within Brook House, in breach of the smoking ban required by the Health Act 2006. The Court held that the SSHD had sought to use “euphemistic language” in order to “evade the law”.

Press coverage: BBC, GuardianThe Independent

AM (Afghanistan) v & Lord Chancellor & Anor [2017] EWCA Civ 1123

Guideline case concerning core principles of asylum law and practice to be followed by all Tribunals determining asylum claims made by children, young people and other incapacitated or vulnerable persons whose ability to effectively participate in proceedings may be limited. The guideline judgment was promulgated to ensure an effective right of access to the court and a voice in the proceedings. A central holding of the Court was that “a child is foremost a child before he or she is a refugee”

The Court of Appeal also importantly ruled that tribunals have the power to appoint a litigation friend, with the common law filling any lacuna found in the governing procedure rules. See Lexis Nexis Briefing Note.

Corbiere Ltd & Ors v Secretary Of State For Justice & Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 3364

Challenge brought by a hedge fund against decisions to respectively refuse to recall the interested party to prison from licence and refuse to halt his deportation. The fund alleged that the interested party, a ‘quantitative analyst’ had stolen and reverse engineered 55 secret algorithmic trading strategies worth at least £31 million. and that his deportation would open the firm to “serious harm” . Press coverage: Guardian, Bloomberg

YA v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 2135

Successful unlawful detention claim of a victim of torture. The Secretary of State was subsequently strongly censured by the High Court for repeatedly breaching a series of Orders made by the High Court and the First Tier Tribunal to release YA. Press coverage: Guardian

HK (Iraq) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 1871

Test case challenge to the removal of asylum seekers to Bulgaria under the ‘Dublin III Regulation’ in violation of Article 3 ECHR and Article 4 EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, because of the parlous state of reception conditions in that country for asylum seekers.

Wasif v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 82

Led by Michael Fordham QC. Guideline case as to the correct approach to certification of judicial review cases as “totally without merit”.

M2 v Secretary of State for the Home Department SC/124/2014

Led by Hugh Southey QC. National security case in SIAC concerning deprivation of British Citizenship. In particular the case raises the issue of whether the application of EU law was material to the disclosure exercise.

ZG & SA v Secretary of State for the Home Department SN/23-24/2015

Review in SIAC of the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse to naturalise on good character grounds for reasons of national security, focussing upon an applicant’s right to prior consultation and pre-decision disclosure.

Jamar Brown v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 8 

Led by Stephen Knafler QC. The Secretary of State had acted unlawfully in designating Jamaica a ‘safe’ country in view of the risk of persecution faced by persons dependent upon their sexual orientation. The Supreme Court rejected the Secretary of State’s certified point that a relevant minority group required to exceed a percentage threshold of the population before it could be said that a country was not in general safe.

Alvi & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015]

Judicial Review where generic relief was obtained by way of the ‘Rule 32’ process for all persons subject to an unlawful appellate process within the Detained Fast Track, reopening all appeals heard under the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014 upon application, without more.

JM & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2015] EWHC 2331

Led by Stephanie Harrison QC. Challenge to the lawful operation of the Detained Fast Track with particular reference to vulnerable persons, The Detained Fast Track was suspended by the Minister for Immigration following this litigation, after a decade of operation. Led by Stephanie Harrison QC. Reported by the BBC, Guardian and The Times.

AI v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 244 

Led by Raza Husain QC. Challenge to third country removals to France under the Dublin III Regulations in cases subjected to a detained fast track process in that country. Awaiting hearing in the Court of Appeal following grant of permission to appeal.

IKM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 3031

Rare successful judicial review challenge to third country certification of asylum claim and removal (to Ireland) and unlawful detention claim on the grounds of the claimant’s mental health and the strength of her protection claim. Reported by the BBC, Independent and The Huffington Post.

BM (Iran) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 491

Appeal raised the question as to whether the Secretary of State’s suspension of removals to Iran for the foreseeable future was a relevant factor in the Article 8 ECHR proportionality assessment in the case of a young adult.

AA (Sudan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2014] EWHC 2118

Successful claim for unlawful detention. The Secretary of State’s lack of resources did not provide a satisfactory answer to her failure to review the Claimant’s detention. In determining the appropriate timescale within which the Secretary of State was to consider medical evidence submitted as independent evidence of torture, the Administrative Court adopted the two-day period set out in the Enforcement Instructions and Guidance in respect of Rule 35 reports where compliance with Hardial Singh principle (iv) arose.

Martin Ndomba Mulumba v First Tier Tribunal (Asylum Support) & Anor

Led by Stephen Knafler QC. Successful challenge to the widespread practice of the Asylum Support Tribunal and Secretary of State for the Home Department refusing to grant support pursuant to section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to failed asylum seekers with outstanding Article 8 ECHR claims before the Secretary of State on the grounds that such human rights claims were ‘non-protection’ claims.

RA (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 4073

Judicial review challenging the lawfulness of the claimant’s detention and the certification of his protection claim.

Hiri v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 254

Successful application for Judicial Review of the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse naturalisation on grounds of ‘good character’ pursuant to a criminal conviction, and the underlying policy provisions. The Administrative Court provided guidance as to how the Secretary of State must approach assessments of an applicant’s character by reference to her policy and otherwise. Reported by the BBC, Telegraph, Guardian, and Daily Mail.

Vassallo (Qualifying residence; pre-UK accession) [2014] UKUT 313

The Upper Tribunal held that a person may acquire qualifying residence for the purposes of exercising Treaty rights in respect of periods of residence arising before the UK became part of the European Community on 1 January 1973 and before the implementation of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000.

LM & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 2015 

Challenge to the lawfulness of Statement of Changes HC 820 on the grounds of its capriciousness offending principles of legal certainty and in turn the rule of law where it retrospectively made additional requirements of child applicants and their parents seeking leave to remain on grounds of private and family life. The claim became academic during the course of proceedings owing to grant of leave made to the Claimants.

R v Jaddi [2012] EWCA Crim 2565

A successful appeal against conviction before Hughes LJ Vice President of the Criminal Division (as he then was) concerning the availability of the s.31 defence in respect of an Iranian asylum seeker convicted of false document offences

 AB (Ahmadiyya Association UK: letters) Pakistan [2013] UKUT 511

Appeal before Blake J, President of the Upper Tribunal, concerning an Ahmadi appellant from Pakistan and the weight to be attached to evidence from the Ahmadiyya Association UK when deciding a claim to international protection based on a person’s Ahmadi faith where credibility is in issue.

 IA v SSHD [2011]

Successful National Security Bail Application concerning an applicant previously convicted of offences arising out of the ’21/7′ attempted bombings in London.


Raza came to the Bar from a background in international development, working in post-conflict reconstruction to establish basic infra-structures in communities blighted by civil war (Sierra Leone) or devastated by natural disasters (Kashmir earthquake (2005), Sri Lanka tsunami (2004). This included developing an emergency first response, primarily firefighting and rescue capability.

Raza’s MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development took as its focus the doctrine of humanitarian interventionism and its instrumentalisation of the discourses of human rights and democracy.

Before joining Garden Court, Raza also worked as a volunteer for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BiD), assisting detainees held in immigration removal centres to both apply for bail and challenge the lawfulness of their detention. Whilst working at BiD Raza also assisted in running workshops on bail at Yarls Wood IRC, assisting litigants in person to present their own applications for bail. Raza continues to represent detainees for BiD on a pro bono basis, advising on the merits of potential unlawful detention claims.

Publications and Appearances

Raza is a contributing author to Macdonald’s Immigration Law & Practice, 9th Edition, the authoritative practitioner text in the jurisdiction.