An audit report of race relations across the immigration detention estate conducted by Focus Consultancy Ltd showed highlighted areas for improvement with regards to race relations. Concerns were raised about procedures in ten per cent of detention centres. More info
The Legal Services Commission announced an intention to write to the Law Society's lawyers to set out their current intention to terminate the Unified Contract and re-tender for the work. Given the applicability of the EU Procurement Regulations, confirmed by the courts in the recent litigation (R(The Law Society) v the Legal Services Commission & Dexter Montague & Partners v the Legal Services Commission  EWCA Civ 1264), the procurement process leading to the award of new contracts will be open to new providers and to existing contract holders and will include processes for bidding for the allocation of New Matter Starts which are already a feature of the controlled budget for Legal Help. More info
In SB (PSG, Protection Regulations, Reg 6) Moldova CG  UKAIT 00002 (26 November 2007) the Tribunal found that victims of trafficking and former victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation are capable of being members of a particular social group because of their shared common background or past experience of having been trafficked so long as the group in question has a distinct identity in the society in question. They also noted a Home Office practice whereby, if an upgrading appeal is successful, the grant of humanitarian protection to the Appellant will convert to asylum status, without any changes (whether in terms of conditions attached or the duration of the leave) to the limited leave of 5 years' duration, which has already been granted, so that prior to the last date of the limited leave, an individual would be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the same way as she would have been able to if the protection-status granted to her had remained as humanitarian protection.
In AA and Others (Highly skilled migrants: legitimate expectation) Pakistan  UKAIT 00003 (21 December 2007) the Tribunal found that the only legitimate expectation held by persons within the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme was that their applications will be judged on the basis of the rules and criteria in force at the date of any decision on their applications. They reaffirmed the proposition that the Tribunal's jurisdiction under s.84(1)(e) to evaluate grounds of appeal based on a decision being "otherwise not in accordance with the law" encompasses challenges to immigration decisions on public law grounds, including procedural fairness and legitimate expectation.
In TR (reg 8(3) EEA Regs 2006)  UKAIT 00004 (28 December 2007) the Tribunal looked at the EEA Regulations regarding the right to reside for carers. They found that the use of the word "serious" requires the "health grounds" to be well beyond ordinary ill health and as a matter of practice to require detailed medical evidence in support of any claim. The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 provided a useful definition of "Personal care." The word "Strictly" is a restrictive or limiting requirement and imports a need for complete compliance or exact performance and reinforces the need for personal care to be provided on a day to day basis.
Graham Denholm will be giving training on Appeals and Enforcement for ILPA on Tuesday 29 January 2008 in London from 4-7.15pm, see www.ilpa.org.uk for details
HJT Training will be running their accreditation training course from 28-31 January 2008 with a revision day on Saturday 2 February 2008, see http://www.hjt-training.co.uk/coursedates.aspx .