Garden Court Barristers secure injunctions from the Court of Appeal for last few asylum seekers on Rwanda Flight

Wednesday 15 June 2022

The Garden Court team consisted of Sonali Naik QCAdrian BerryGrace BrownMark SymesAlex GriggMaha SardarElla GunnEva Doerr, and Stephen Clark.

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Late in the evening on Tuesday 14 June 2022, less than an hour before the flight was due to leave, Garden Court Barristers secured injunctions at an emergency hearing before the Court of Appeal (Master of the Rolls and Singh,  Simler LJJ) for asylum seekers due to be removed on the Home Office chartered plane to Rwanda.

Following a Rule 39 interim measure from the European Court of Human Rights to stay removal for an asylum seeker in another case, the Home Secretary was refusing to defer removal for the remaining asylum seekers set to be removed. In an urgently convened hearing before the Court of Appeal, a Garden Court team led by Sonali Naik QC, instructed by solicitors at Barnes, Harrild, and Dyer Solicitors obtained the necessary injunctions to take the remaining people off the plane. In a linked case Alex Grigg of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Duncan Lewis, obtained a stay on removal for his client. 

Alex Grigg and Duncan Lewis Public Law represent a Vietnamese asylum seeker in fear of death threats from loan sharks, and who had also had to flee the Ukrainian conflict. His challenge focuses on procedural fairness, particularly relevant with regard to the admissibility criteria. Their client speaks no English, had not understood the decisions being made, and had only been able to obtain legal advice on Friday. He was granted an injunction by the European Court of Human Rights after the Court of Appeals decision. We are grateful to Duncan Lewis for bringing the prior lead challenge that paved the way for this stay.

These successes were due to Garden Court Chambers teamwork and collaborative approach, the hard work of Barnes, Harrild, and Dyer Solicitors and Duncan Lewis Solicitors, the joint commitment of all to individual clients and the outstanding work of many other lawyers across the sector. 

All the asylum seekers had strong cases for Refugee status and asylum in the UK; all had human rights reasons as to why the UK should determine and provide for their protection-related needs. Their stories demonstrate the inhumanity in the Home Secretary’s Rwanda policy.

The Garden Court team consisted of Sonali Naik QC, Adrian Berry, Grace Brown, Mark Symes, Alex Grigg, Maha Sardar, Ella Gunn, Eva Doerr, and Stephen Clark.

The Barnes, Harrild and Dyer team consisted of Qays Sediqi and Ali Alomani.

The Duncan Lewis team consisted of Shalini Patel and Rachel Pask.

Many other Garden Court barristers have been working on Rwanda cases, including Greg O’ Cealliagh, Ali Bandegani, Raza Halim, Ubah Dirie, David Sellwood, and Steven Galliver-Andrew.

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