Raza Halim specialises in public law, with an emphasis on refugee law and human rights. He specialises in judicial review and appellate work in the fields of international protection, civil liberties and national security, regularly acting in test case litigation challenging Executive policy at first instance, through to the Supreme Court.
AAA v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Rwanda)  EWHC 3230
Challenge to the Government’s ‘Rwanda Policy’, to transfer asylum claimants to Rwanda if they have arrived in the UK by making “dangerous journeys” arriving by “small boats”. The Claimants challenged the scheme on a number of grounds, including that Rwanda was not a “safe third country” based on evidence from the UNHCR, claimants risked being unlawfully returned by Rwanda to the country of their persecution (‘refoulement’), and contrary to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Raza acted for the Claimants ‘NSK’ and ‘AT’, who won their individual challenges to the Home Secretary’s decisions.
Press coverage: The Guardian, ITV News, The Independent here and here, Sky News and The New York Times,
R (CSM) v Secretary of State v Secretary of State for the Home Department  4 WLR 110
First time in English law that a Court held the British State to be in breach of its ‘systems duty’ under Article 3 ECHR. The Court declared that the Home Secretary failed to: 1) put in place adequate systems of care to protect those with HIV detained under immigration powers; 2) take all reasonable steps to avoid a real and immediate risk of harm to the Claimant by timeously providing antiretroviral medication (material breach of Article 3 ECHR operational duty) – officials were not told about the need to administer antiretroviral medication without delay or how to obtain it 3) the Home Secretary had no or any adequate policies and guidance in place dealing with individuals with HIV and failed to prevent the failings in this case. Led by Chris Buttler KC.
Press coverage: Guardian
R (Lawal) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (death in detention, SoS's duties)  UKUT 114 (IAC)
This case concerned the Home Secretary’s failure to ensure the effective investigation of deaths in the immigration detention estate. It is the first domestic case to affirm that the duty to ensure an effective investigation under Article 2 ECHR affects the exercise of the Secretary of State’s immigration powers. The Court held that Home Secretary must not frustrate or undermine an inquiry into how and in what circumstances a vulnerable person died where Article 2 ECHR is engaged. Led by Sonali Naik KC.
Press coverage: Guardian here and here
P3 v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SC/148/2018, SC/148/2020)
National security case before SIAC where a British Citizen was deprived of his citizenship whilst abroad on the basis that he was assessed 'to have links with Iranian intelligence services' and 'was prepared to accept tasking'. The case concerned whether the Home Secretary had lawfully refused him entry clearance to 1) effectively participate in his deprivation appeal 2) ensure against the severance of family ties in the UK and 3) head off a serious risk of suicide.
JM v Secretary of State for the Home Department  PTSR 260
Test case judicial review challenging the Home Secretary’s decision to refuse to provide asylum support payments to vulnerable asylum seekers to cover communication expenses, a fortiori during the extreme isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court granted the application, holding that need to communicate was an essential living need for the group of asylum seekers as a whole and could not properly be classified as exceptional. Led by Chris Buttler KC.
Hemmati & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 56
Led by Michael Fordham QC. Supreme Court held that Home Secretary had failed to institute into domestic law and apply the high level of protection provided by EU law against the detention of asylum seekers. That meant that the appellants and any asylum seeker who had been detained pending their removal to Member States between 2014 – 2017, were entitled to damages for the tort of false imprisonment.
Press coverage: The Guardian and Independent.
Idahosa v R  EWCA Crim 1953
Successful appeal against conviction for a refugee using false documents in order to escape persecution. The Appellant served 15 months in prison owing to the defective legal advice of his lawyers. The Court of Appeal provided guidance on the statutory interpretation of being in “transit”.
MR (Pakistan) & Anor v Secretary of State for Justice & Ors  EWHC 3567
Led by Hugh Southey QC. Judicial review of the scheme governing the detention of immigration detainees held in the prison estate where the Prison Rules fail to provide equivalent protection or mechanisms to discover and release detainees who are victims of torture, compared to the rules governing immigration detention centres. That lacuna is also a breach of Article 14 ECHR and Equality Act 2010.
Foley v Secretary of State for Justice & Anor  EWHC 488
Challenge to the decision by the Secretary of State to retain Claimant in custody pursuant to an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection, depriving him of removal from prison through the "Tariff-Expired Removal Scheme" ("TERS").
Gasztony v Secretary of State for the Home Department & NHS England  EWHC 2879
Unlawful detention of a person suffering from autistic spectrum disorder in breach of the Home Secretary’s published policy, Article 8 ECHR, and at common law, where, but for delays attributable to the Secretary of State, the Claimant could have been released, instead his mental health decomposed in detention. The Court held that the Secretary of State had a “special duty” to vulnerable persons in detention to ensure that there is no unnecessary delay in locating and securing appropriate accommodation/treatment in the community.
ZN Afghanistanv Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1059
Led by Stephen Knafler QC. Court of Appeal held that it was relevant to take into consideration the fact that a party was funded by legal aid, when determining the award of costs. The Court held that effective access to justice was of profound concern to the courts, especially in the field of public law, which concerned the legality of the executive's actions and so related in a direct way to the rule of law.
Adegun v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 22
The detention of a seriously mentally ill man, suffering inter alia psychotic bipolar disorder, previously been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, was unlawful. The Home Secretary failed to discharge her duty of care by failing to dispense critical anti-psychotic medication to him, worsening his condition.
Hussein & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department & G4S (Liberty intervening)  EWHC 213
Led by Stephanie Harrison QC. The Secretary of State had interfered with and indirectly discriminated against the rights of Muslim asylum seekers and migrants, protected under Articles 9 and 14 ECHR. The conditions in the detention centre compromised their ability to observe their faith through prayer. Press coverage: BBC, The Guardian, The Independent.
AM (Afghanistan) v & Lord Chancellor & Anor  EWCA Civ 1123
Led by Stephanie Harrison QC. Guideline case as to the principles to be applied in the determination of asylum claims made by vulnerable, incapacitated and/or young persons. The Court of Appeal also ruled that tribunals have the power to appoint a litigation friend. See Lexis Nexis Briefing Note.
Corbiere Ltd & Ors v Secretary Of State For Justice & Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3364
Challenge brought by a hedge fund against decisions to refuse to recall the interested party to prison from licence and refuse to halt his deportation, where it was 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: The Guardian, Bloomberg.
YA v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2135
The Secretary of State unlawfully detained a victim of torture. The Secretary of State was also censured by the Court for repeatedly breaching orders to release. Press coverage: The Guardian.
HK (Iraq) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department  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  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, focusing upon an applicant's right to prior consultation and pre-decision disclosure.
Jamar Brown v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 8
Led by Stephen Knafler QC. The Supreme Court held that 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.
JM & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department& Anor  EWHC 2331
Led by Stephanie Harrison QC. Successful challenge to the operation of the Detained Fast Track system, leading to its suspension by the Minister for Immigration, after a decade of operation. Reported by the BBC, The Guardian and The Times.
AI v Secretary of State for the Home Department  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. Judgment conceded to be vitiated by material errors of law by Secretary of State on appeal.
IKM v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3031
Judicial review of decisions to unlawfully detain and remove victim of rape and torture on ‘third country’ grounds. Reported by the BBC, The Independent and The Huffington Post.
AA (Sudan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor  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.
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 accommodation and financial support to otherwise destitute and homeless failed asylum seekers with outstanding Article 8 ECHR claims. See Court's declaration here.
Hiri v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 254
Successful judicial review of the Secretary of State's decision to refuse naturalisation on grounds of 'good character' of a member of the British Army for a speeding offence. The Court provided guidance as to how the Secretary of State must approach assessments of good character. Reported by the BBC, The Guardian, and The Daily Mail.
LM & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department  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.
R v Jaddi  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.