Illegal Migration Act 2023 - Part 2 - Challenging Limbo, Age Assessments & New Trafficking Exclusions

Wednesday 11 October 2023


This event was part of the Illegal Migration Act 2023 series brought to you by the Garden Court Public Law Team and the Garden Court Immigration Team.

Date: Wednesday 11 October 2023
Time: 6pm-7:30pm, followed by drinks & networking
Venue: Chambers & Online  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Immigration Detention, Asylum and Deportation , Immigration Law , Administrative and Public Law

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This event discussed the legal consequences of refusing to process claims for asylum made by those travelling to the UK irregularly, for example via “small boats”.

We looked at changes to age assessments under the Act, including removal of the right to appeal.  Finally, we considered the new trafficking exclusions in the Act, including how the Act disapplies section 50A of the Modern Slavery Act, therefore removing necessary assistance and support which was previously available.  

Through analysis of Section 2(1), which introduces a statutory duty on the SSHD to remove asylum seekers if four conditions are met, the panel dissected the legal arguments to challenge these measures.

Speaker Bios

Nadia O'Mara, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Nadia joined Garden Court as a tenant following successful completion of pupillage in October 2022. Nadia is building a busy judicial review practice which cuts across her multi-disciplinary practice. She has experience in judicial review in the areas of immigration law, community care, age assessments and education law.

She has experience in asylum and human rights appeals, family reunions, deportation and EUSS claims. Nadia has a particular interest in issues arising in the context of immigration detention. Nadia takes a holistic approach to her practice and is adept at providing advice on potential public law challenges arising out of or alongside her caseload.

Ronan Toal, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Ronan's practice covers all areas of asylum and immigration. It includes cases concerned with trafficking in human beings, including protection and human rights appeals involving issues of trafficking, and the state’s obligations to victims of trafficking; claims for judicial review of the Home Office's conduct and policy in relation to trafficking victims; challenging NRM decisions; civil claims for violations of victims' Article 4 ECHR rights and exploration of remedies in respect of systemic failures by the UK to protect victims of trafficking.

He is an editor of Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice, the leading practitioners' text. He is ranked in Band 1 for immigration law in the Chambers Bar Guide. 

Emma Fitzsimons, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Emma Fitzsimons is an immigration and public law barrister, practising in immigration and asylum, unlawful detention, trafficking, age assessments and community care.

Emma has particular strength in representing vulnerable clients. She regularly appears on behalf of unaccompanied minors, trafficking victims and vulnerable adults in the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Administrative Court. She also has experience of successfully acting in urgent removal cases. She is a contributing author to the leading immigration practitioner text, Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice.

Ollie Persey, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Ollie has a broad claimant-focused public law and human rights practice. Ollie is ranked by the Legal 500 2023 as a Tier 1 Rising Star in Administrative and Human Rights Law, Community Care & Court of Protection and Education Law. His community care practice spans age assessments, asylum support, welfare benefits, and health and social care. He specialises in representing children and Deaf people, drawing upon his expertise in education law and his knowledge of British Sign Language (‘BSL’). He is a co-convener of Garden Court’s Community Care Team and acts in complex and urgent cases as sole counsel and led junior. 

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