Refugee Week - Accommodating asylum seekers: Barracks, Barges & Hotels

Wednesday 21 June 2023


This event is brought to you by the Garden Court Public Law Team, Community Care Team and Immigration Team.

Date: Wednesday 21 June 2023
Time: 5.30pm - 7pm
Venue: Hybrid  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Administrative and Public Law , Immigration Law , Immigration Detention, Asylum and Deportation

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The Home Office’s systemic failure in processing asylum claims has resulted in a growing number of asylum seekers in ‘temporary’ asylum accommodation. The Home Office estimates that “about 51,000 destitute migrants are currently being accommodated in hotels” and it is looking to reduce its estimated £6 million per day expenditure by using army camps and barges.

This event, chaired by Joint Head of Chambers Stephanie Harrison KC, will explore these pressing issues and what lawyers and campaigners can do about them.



Stephanie Harrison KC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Stephanie is a leading practitioner in the field of public law and immigration & asylum law, with over 30 years of experience in complex cases. She frequently appears in the highest courts in landmark cases concerning the interpretation and application of the Refugee Convention and other related international human rights. She specialises in claims of torture, human trafficking and other forms of serious violence including sex and gender-based violence. She represented the Appellant in AM( Afghanistan) [2017] EWCA Civ 113 as well as the Helen Bamber Foundation, Freedom from Torture and Medical Justice as intervenors in KV (Sri-Lanka) [2019] UKSC 10 and the AIRE Centre in MN and IXU [2020] EWCA 1746, all leading cases on the role of medical evidence in claims for international protection.

She has been involved in many of the most significant judicial review challenges to the lawfulness of detention policy and practice relating to vulnerable adults and children. She was lead counsel for a number of Core Participants and Medical Justice in the ongoing Statutory Inquiry into Article 3 mistreatment in Brook House IRC. She is an editor of Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice (1Oth Edition), the leading textbook in the field.

Greg Ó Ceallaigh, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Greg specialises in human rights, asylum and immigration, civil and public law. He is ranked in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2023 and the Legal 500 2023 for immigration. Greg has over 15 years' experience in immigration law and has acted in all kinds of matters ranging from the most complex asylum and human rights claims to Tier 1 Investor cases. 

Greg is highly experienced in immigration detention work and has represented detainees in detention claims at every level from the Administrative Court to the Supreme Court (including Fardous v SSHD [2015] EWCA Civ 92, R (Sathanantham) v SSHD [2016] 4 WLR 128 and R (on the application of) (Hemmati) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] UKSC 56), as well as in civil actions for false imprisonment both in the County Court and the Queen's Bench Division ((e.g. Louis v The Home Office [2021] EWHC 288 (QB) and AO v The Home Office [2021] EWHC 1043 (QB))).

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. 

Georgie Rea, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Georgie is developing a broad public law practice, whilst specialising in immigration and asylum, housing, education, and community care. Her multi-disciplinary practice enables her to accept judicial review instructions in a range of areas and her specialist knowledge enables her to deploy the overarching principles of public law effectively in a variety of statutory contexts. She welcomes instructions in other judicial review claims involving challenges to immigration detention.

Georgie has experience in a wide range of immigration law matters, including complex asylum, deportation, human rights appeals, public law challenges to fresh claim decisions, and more novel challenges to the passport office.

Jo Underwood, Solicitor, Shelter
Jo Underwood is a housing and public law solicitor at Shelter, a housing and homelessness charity, where she leads the strategic litigation team. Jo has acted for Shelter on interventions in a number of high-profile housing and social welfare cases, including Supreme Court challenges relating to homelessness, the benefit cap and out of area temporary housing placements. Jo also carries out training, policy and research activities at Shelter in relation to homelessness and poor housing.

Prior to joining Shelter, Jo worked in a law centre and a high street legal aid practice in inner city London. She is on the steering group for one of the first communities in the UK to house and resettle a refugee family under the Community Sponsorship Scheme. She is also on the advisory board for a community café and support service assisting women fleeing domestic abuse.

Ravishaan Rahel Muthiah, Communications Director, The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)

Ravishaan Rahel Muthiah is the Communications Director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, a migrants rights charity that challenges policies that lead to discrimination, destitution and the denial of migrants rights. Prior to joining JCWI, Rav led record-breaking Parliamentary election campaigns and winning Deputy Leadership campaigns at the Labour Party. He’s won campaigns against corporate giants and broke political mobilisation records at Greenpeace UK and Small Axe.

Rav has campaigned and volunteered across many migrants' and refugees' rights groups and has an academic background in International Law with a focus on international human rights and international refugee law.

Reserve your online place

Please use the booking form below to reserve an online ticket. In-person tickets are now fully booked.

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