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High Court finds detention to be unlawful with substantial damages awarded for breach of policy and Hardial Singh principles

Friday 30 April 2021

The Claimant was represented by Greg Ó Ceallaigh of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team and Stephanie Hill of Leigh Day.

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Judgment has today been handed down in OA v The Home Office [2021] EWHC 1043 (QB) in which Morris J found that the Claimant had been unlawfully detained for a substantial period. 

The Claimant is a very vulnerable man who had severe mental health problems when he was detained for over a year after an incident in which he had committed offences during a psychotic episode. He was separated from his British partner and children, and the Court found that the detention was unlawful in part because of the failure to give any consideration to the impact on them of separation from him. Two judges wanted to release him on bail but could not because of the Home Office's failure to secure bail accommodation in circumstances that the Defendant's own witness accepted were "pretty poor". 

The vast majority of the detention was found to be unlawful, with substantial damages awarded for the breach of Hardial Singh principles and the failure to decide his application for bail accommodation within a reasonable period, as well as the failure to properly consider the recommendation of the Defendant's own Case Progression Panel to release.

The judgment is available to download here

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