News & Views Monday 20th November to Sunday 26th November 2017  
Fourth Death at Lincoln Immigration Removal Centre Prompts Inquiry

An investigation has been launched into the fourth death at a Lincoln immigration removal centre in the last year. A 27-year-old Iraqi man died at Morton Hall immigration removal centre on Sunday morning. He is thought to have killed himself. The police have been informed and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman are conducting an independent investigation into the death. Just a few weeks ago Carlington Spencer, 38, from Jamaica, died at Morton Hall. In January of this year Polish detainee Lukasz Debowski died there and in December 2016 Bal Ahmed Kabia from Sierra Leone died there. There have been 10 deaths in detention centres across the UK in the last 12 months.

Detainees expressed their shock at the latest death, saying that they believed the dead man to have been extremely vulnerable. One told the Guardian: “He was a nice lad, very quiet and kept himself to himself. But he had mental health problems and was on suicide watch.” He said that guards were supposed to be checking on the man every 30 minutes. He added that detainees became aware of the incident early on Sunday morning. “I heard an officer say: ‘Oh shit’ and then we were all taken out of our rooms and locked into the pool room for about an hour. They carried his body out through the back way in the hope that we wouldn’t see what was going on. We are all treated very badly here, like prisoners, although many of us have not committed any crime.”

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian,

Lifeline for Volunteers Helping Refugees and Migrants

Tens of thousands of volunteers across Europe who are struggling to teach their language and culture to new refugees and migrants have been offered a lifeline. At last, free teaching materials adapted to refugees’ special needs have been developed and are being launched online by the Council of Europe at

Now vailable in seven languages – Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian and Turkish – this comprehensive package of practical support and awareness-raising materials can be adopted by volunteers who have no previous teaching experience. It will enable refugees arriving in Europe to deal with basic everyday situations, like visiting a doctor, using public transport and filling out forms.
The Council of Europe is responding to a growing call for help from organisations that provide language support for migrants, which frequently rely on help from volunteers, who may have no teaching experience. The true scale of the problem is not known because many small centres and classes are being set up on an ad hoc, immediate needs basis. The overall number of volunteers set to benefit is thought to run into tens of thousands and the number may well be much higher.

Read more: Council of Europe,

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by Zambrano Carer Over Provision

The Supreme Court has this week rejected a claim that the denial of mainstream welfare and housing provision to a Zambrano carer and her child was unlawful. The claimant in R (on the application of HC) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and others [2017] UKSC 73 had argued that such a denial amounted to unlawful discrimination under article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms and/or under article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

It was common ground before the Supreme Court that Mrs HC was entitled to reside in the UK as the carer of her children, due to the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in Zambrano v Office nationale de l’emploi (Case C-34/09) [2012] QB 265. In Zambrano, the CJEU held that an EU member state could not take measures in respect of a non-EU citizen who was the primary carer (a “Zambrano carer”) of an EU citizen, where those measures effectively deprived that dependent EU citizen of the genuine enjoyment of his or her rights under EU law. In response to the Zambrano decision, the UK government introduced regulations which amended legislation to preclude Zambrano carers from claiming various income-related benefits. Mrs HC challenged the legality of the Regulations.

Read more: Local Government Lawyer,

EDM 563: Military Detention of Palestinian Children by Israeli Authorities

That this House notes with concern that hundreds of Palestinian children continue to be arrested, detained and tried in Israeli military courts, despite the practice involving widespread and systematic violations of international law and being widely condemned; further notes that allegations of ill-treatment at the hands of Israeli authorities include blindfolding, physical violence and arrest at night; notes the disparity between the treatment of Israeli and Palestinian children by Israeli authorities and calls for those authorities to treat Palestinian children in a way that is not inferior to the way they would any Israeli child; notes that, as the occupying power in the West Bank, Israel has a responsibility under international human rights conventions for the safety, welfare and human rights protection of Palestinian children living under occupation; notes with concern that the recommendations of Unicef's 2013 Children in Israeli Military Detention Report remain largely unmet; and urges the Government to urgently engage with the Government of Israel to end the widespread and systemic human rights violations suffered by Palestinian children in Israeli military custody.

Sponsors: Burden, Richard / Nandy, Lisa / Slaughter, Andy / Carmichael, Alistair / Sheppard, Tommy / Morris, Grahame M

House of Commons, 20/11/2017,

Put Your MP to Work – Ask Them to Sign EDM 563   
To find your MP go here: https:///



G4S Orders Independent Inquiry Into Immigration Centre Staff

Security firm G4S has commissioned an independent inquiry to review the "attitude and behaviour" of staff at an immigration removal centre it runs.  Staff at Brook House were allegedly caught "mocking, abusing and assaulting" people being held there in covert footage filmed for BBC Panorama. G4S has a government contract to run the centre near Gatwick Airport. It has appointed an outside consultancy to conduct the inquiry but has not said whether the findings will be published.  In September, Panorama aired footage recorded by ex-custody officer Callum Tulley at Brook House, which holds detainees who are facing deportation from the UK. Security firm G4S has since dismissed six members of staff at the centre and a number of other staff have also been disciplined. Brandon Lewis, the immigration minister, is expected to be questioned by MPs today about whether his department had concerns about the centre before the programme was broadcast.

Read more: BBC News,

Have You Recently Been Refused A UK Visa?

UK government changed the law in April 2015, significantly reducing the number of avenues that one could use to appeal a negative decision. However, there are still a number of ways that one could use to dispute a refusal by the Home Office. Under certain circumstances, and assuming certain conditions are met, an applicant has the right to challenge the Home Office’s decision on their immigration application if they believe a mistake has been made.  There are strict time limits to make such challenges, usually between 14 and 28 days of receiving your application decision.

Right of Appeal: If the applicant has been refused entry to the UK or leave to remain, they may have a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Appeals are heard by independent judges who decide whether on not to uphold the decision of the Home Office. Appeals can be made against various decisions including the refusal of an asylum claim or humanitarian protection; a decision to deport an EEA national; a refusal to provide a permanent residence document to an EEA national; revocation of an asylum or humanitarian protection and revocation of British citizenship.

Administrative Review: If the applicant does not have a right of appeal, they may be entitled to an administrative review. An administrative review is available to applicants who feel that there was an error made in the decision by the Home Office and that they were incorrectly refused. This is an option for applicants who applied for their visa both within and outside the UK. Applicants may also be entitled to an administrative review if their visa was cancelled at the border. 

Reconsideration Request: Finally, an applicant may be entitled to have their decision reconsidered by the Home Office. A ‘reconsideration request’ may be made when the application was successful but there was an error made on the visa. This applies to applications to extend leave, switch current visas or settle in the UK as well as applications to transfer a visa vignette to a biometric residence permit. 

It is important to note that different rules apply depending on whether applications were made within or outside the UK, and also whether the decision is being challenged from within or outside the UK.

Posted by: Gherson Immigration, 

EDM 555: Iraq Parliament Legislating to Make Marriage legal at Nine Years

Early Day Motion 555: Proposed Amendment to Iraq's Personal Status Law
That this House notes with deep concern the proposed amendment to the Personal Status Law currently being debated in the Iraqi Parliament that could lower the legal marriage age to nine; believes that passage of this amendment would be a backwards step for Iraqi women and girls; is alarmed at the speed of proceedings despite significant opposition; further notes that this amendment would violate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Iraq ratified in 1994; and urges the Government to make strong representations to its Iraqi counterparts against any legislative proposals that would weaken the rights of children and women in Iraq.

Sponsors: Swinson, Jo / Clwyd, Ann / Gaffney, Hugh / Law, Chris / Lamb, Norman / Farron, Tim

House of Commons, 20/11/2017,

Put Your MP to Work – Ask Them to Sign EDM 555    
To find your MP go here: https:///

Early Day Motion 582: Legal Rights for Cohabitees Who Separate

That this House notes that there are currently more than six million people in the UK who live together without being married or in a civil partnership, and that such cohabitees are the fastest growing family type; is concerned that, in England and Wales, such cohabitees have little or no legal protection or ability to access support if their relationship breaks down and they separate; further notes that countries such as Australia, Canada and Scotland legally recognise cohabitation relationships and provide legal protection; notes that Resolution's Cohabitation Awareness Week takes place from 27 November to 1 December 2017 to help counter the widely held belief that cohabitees are protected under so-called common law marriage, and highlight the benefits of cohabitation, separation and living together agreements; and calls on the Government to act upon Resolution's proposal that cohabitees meeting eligibility criteria indicating a committed relationship have a legal right to apply to the courts for certain financial orders if they separate.

Sponsors: Bottomley, Peter / Lucas, Caroline
Hose of Commons, 23/11/2017,

Put Your MP to Work – Ask Them to Sign EDM  583   
find your MP go here: https:///