Court of Appeal upholds finding that Moroccan national was unlawfully detained for eight months

Thursday 27 August 2015

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Home Office, upholding the decision of the Queen’s Bench Division that the Home Office unlawfully detained a Moroccan national for eight months.

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The claimant had a history of dishonesty but was desperate to go home to Morocco. Although he was in daily contact with the Moroccan authorities trying to speed up his removal there was an enormous unexplained delay in providing him with a travel document.

The Home Office detained him for 22 months on the basis that he was a risk of absconding despite internal notes repeatedly referring to his genuine wish to leave the UK. He had also given up his leave to remain, waived his right of appeal, undergone repeated interviews with the Moroccan authorities and even contacted the British embassy in Rabat himself.

The Court of Appeal upheld the finding of Edis J that the final 8 months of his detention had been unlawful as a reasonable period for detaining him had expired. His repeated efforts to secure his own removal showed that the risk of absconding could be regarded as reduced. There should not have been constant statements in the detention reviews that a travel document would be obtained in a matter of weeks when it was clear that there would not be.

The claimant left voluntarily after having been released on bail.

More information can be found in the judgment: Fardous v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 931

Stephanie Harrison QC and Greg Ó Ceallaigh, both of Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team, were instructed by James Elliott of Wilson’s Solicitors.

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