Home Office amends Removals Policy in response to legal challenge

Friday 25 May 2018

Garden Court's Sonali Naik QC and Ali Bandegani represented the applicant, instructed by Toufique Hossain, Raja Uruthiravinayagan and Husein Meghji of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

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On 23 May 2018 the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) published amendments to his removals policy (at Chapter 60 of his Enforcement Guidance and Instructions, titled ‘Judicial Review and injunctions’) in direct response to proceedings issued on 28th November 2017. The changes reflect concessions made in April this year by the SSHD in the course of these proceedings.

The SSHD removals policy governs all enforced removals from the UK and therefore affects thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers. The applicants' judicial review is brought on the grounds that the SSHD’s removals policy is ultra vires, unless it contains sufficient flexibility to cater for individual cases as well as guaranteeing the right of access to legal representation and the courts to challenge removal. The new policy can be found here: Judicial reviews and injunctions, Version v15.0

In the amended policy there is a new section entitled "Consideration of deferral of removal" (see pages 14-16) which representatives are encouraged to read carefully. In general, it covers:

    1. Access to legal advice and the courts during the notice period (usually 72 hours or 7 days);
    2. Deferring removal due to a change of legal representation;
    3. Deferring removal, in detained cases, where the person liable to removal has not had access to legal advice during the 72 hour notice period; and
    4. The provision of all relevant documents to representatives upon request.

The hearing is listed before the President of the Upper Tribunal (IAC), Lane J on 7-8 June 2018.

Bail for Immigration Detainees, Medical Justice and Women Against Rape have provided valuable 'real world' exampled of the policy in operation. The Public Law Project were granted permission o intervene on 17 May 2018, providing helpful written submissions and evidence from previous litigation, and have been monitoring the policy since 2015.

Charlotte Kilroy of Doughty Street Chambers and Alison Pickup and Rakesh Singh of the Public Law Project were the legal team for the intervener.

Sonali Naik QC and Ali Bandegani (both members of  the Garden Court Chambers Immigration team.), and Toufique HossainRaja Uruthiravinayagan and Husein Meghji (Duncan Lewis Solicitors) were the legal team for the applicant.

Read more on the Duncan Lewis website: Duncan Lewis Solicitors challenge R (Rahimi & Bahadori) v SSHD prompts new Chapter 60 removals policy (24 May 2018)


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