High Court releases Somali national and rules detention unlawful

Monday 16 December 2013

The High Court has ordered the release of a Somali national, ruling his immigration detention unlawful. The man was represented at the trial by Greg Ó Ceallaigh. Ismail, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 3921 (Admin) (13 December 2013)

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The man, who has been resident in the UK for 20 years, had been held in immigration detention for 18 months following a conviction for actual bodily harm. The purpose of this was to allow the Secretary of State to consider whether or not to make a deportation order against him.

This represented an unusually lengthy detention surrounding a deportation decision, and the Court ruled nine months of it to be unlawful. Citing the Secretary of State's "incompetence, neglect and failure to show due diligence", and concluding that there was no realistic prospect of returning the man to Mogadishu, the Court ordered his release.

This case follows last month's Court of Appeal decision to release a Sudanese national after his unreasonably long detention was ruled unlawful. See R (JS (Sudan)) v SSHD [2013] EWCA 1378.

Greg was instructed by Waleed Sheikh of Leigh Day solicitors.

The full judgment is available here: Ismail, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 3921 (Admin) (13 December 2013)

Greg Ó Ceallaigh is a member of the Garden Court Immigration Team.

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