News & Views Monday 21st August to Sunday 27th August 2017  
Very Urgent Keep Samim Bigzad in the UK – Online Petition

The family of a young Afghan man due to be deported from the UK within days are launching a desperate appeal to stay his removal over fears he will be killed by the Taliban. Samim Bigzad, 22, risked his life to reach Europe after receiving death threats from Islamist militants who vowed to behead him because the construction company he worked for had contracts with the Afghan government and American firms. He reached Britain on a lorry from Calais in November 2015 but was refused asylum and denied permission to appeal, and has now been detained ahead of his scheduled deportation on Saturday.

Mr Bigzad is due to be put on a commercial flight via Istanbul to Kabul – the city he fled in fear of his life two years ago. “I believe he’s going to get killed,” said his cousin, Arash. “The Taliban have his details and all the information they need to find him.”
Kavel Rafferty, who has been hosting him at her home in Margate, has started a petition signed by more than 1,500 people appealing for a grace period to review Mr Bigzad’s asylum claim. She said her lodger had no warning of the impending deportation until he went to his monthly appointment at an immigration office in London in July and was taken into custody.

Read more: Lizzie Dearden, Independent,

Living as a Foreign National in the UK - Security of Official UK Permanent Residence?

Essentially, there are two different levels of ‘permanent’ UK immigration status. The first is the acquisition of the right to remain permanently in the UK, and the second is an application to naturalise as a British Citizen, which grants you the full rights of a British national.
Indefinite Leave to Remain - Also known as permanent residence in the UK, confirms your ability to permanently reside in the UK and is usually accrued (by way of official application to the UKVI) after five years continuous legal residence in the UK - without excessive absences of course! The downside to this status is that it can be revoked should you remain outside of the UK for a period of two years, commit a serious crime, or no longer reside in the UK. Holding this status does not permit you to obtain a British passport.
British Citizenship - Generally, British citizenship can only be applied for once you have held Permanent Residence for at least one year (unless you are married to a British citizen and whilst you must hold permanent residence you do not need to have done so for a period of time). If approved, you will be eligible to apply for a British passport. UK citizenship also allows you the full rights of a UK national and can only be taken away from you under very exceptional circumstances.

Read more: Ghearson Immigration,

Charter Flights Q1/January/February/March 2017

'No-Deportations' asked for information regarding charter flights during January/February/March 2017. The answers to your questions fall to be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

1. Number of males removed - 475
2. Number of females removed - 27
3. Number of escorts - 1,077
4. Number of flights in total - 12
5. Number flights to each country / number removed to each country
6. No children were returned

  Number flights number removed
Albania    4 200
*Germany 2   43
Jamaica   32
Nigeria/Ghana 95
Pakistan  3 132
*(returned under the Dublin Convention)

Stranded Spouses and Immigration Control

Sulema Jahangir, solicitor with Dawson Cornwell, explains the plight of wives and mothers who are stranded in foreign countries, often separated from their children, and unable to return to England because of immigration restrictions. The case of the stranded spouse is increasingly blurring the lines between family law and immigration policy. Recent surveys reveal that the British public's stance has hardened towards immigration. Immigration rules have become tighter. A possibly unintended consequence is that there are now many British families, often mothers and sometimes young British children, abandoned in foreign countries who are unable to return to England because of immigration control.

Although a majority of cases of a stranded spouses relate to Pakistan, they are not restricted to that country. A similar pattern emerges in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and other parts of the world such as Kenya and Middle Eastern countries. What is common is that the stranded spouse requires entry clearance to re-enter the United Kingdom and is abandoned in a country which is not a signatory to the Hague Convention or another bilateral treaty with England which facilitates swift resolution of conventional child abduction cases. It is difficult for many of these mothers even to find that they have a legal recourse through British courts.

Read more: Sulema Jahangir, Family Law,

A Genuine Couple Can Enter Marriage of Convenience, Says High Court

A couple may enter into a “marriage of convenience”, even if they are in a genuine relationship. This was, in summary, the finding of the High Court in the case of Molina, R (On the Application Of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 1730 (Admin). Background The Appellant, Mr Molina is a Bolivian national. He entered the UK illegally in April 2007 using a false Bolivian passport. In April 2013, he met an Italian national, Ms Salguero, and they entered in a relationship in October 2013. They moved in together in September 2014 and planned to get married on 19 May 2015.

Read more, Nath Gbikpi, Freemovement,

Theresa May’s ‘Foolish’ Claim on European Court of Justice

Theresa May’s Brexit strategy has been thrown into new doubt as a former head of the government’s legal services ridicules the prime minister’s claim that the UK can break free of all European laws while continuing to reap the economic benefits of the EU’s single market. Sir Paul Jenkins, who was the government’s most senior legal official for eight years until 2014, told the Observer that the prime minister’s policy on the legal implications of Brexit was “foolish”. He insisted that if the UK wants to retain close links with the single market and customs union it will have no option but to observe EU law “in all but name”. The comments – backed by several other leading experts on EU law – cast serious doubt on the central plank of the government’s latest thinking on Brexit, with less than two weeks to go before Brexit secretary David Davis enters a crucial phase of talks on the exit plans in Brussels.

Read more: Toby Helm and Jamie Doward, Guardian,


Judge Condemns Amber Rudd For Ignoring Orders to Release Torture Victim

A high court judge has said she is “deeply concerned” about the behaviour of Amber Rudd for failing to release a survivor of torture from detention despite repeated court orders requiring her to do so. On Wednesday 23/08/2017, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies DBE presided over an emergency high court hearing to examine the home secretary’s delay in releasing an asylum seeker who had been tortured in a Libyan prison with electric shocks and falaka – beating on the soles of the feet. “The court is deeply concerned,” she said. “Four weeks have elapsed since an order was made.” She added that the home secretary had failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for the delays in releasing the man from detention.

It is unusual for a high court judge to condemn a senior government minister in such strong terms. In a mark of her disquiet about the secretary of state’s conduct she not only awarded costs against her but also made an indemnity order – something reserved for conduct or circumstances that take a case “out of the norm” and a mark of disapproval by a judge.

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian,

High Court Rules Detention of Torture Victim in Detained Fast Track Unlawful

The High Court has ruled, in YA v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 2135, that it was unlawful for the Home Office to detain YA, a torture victim who provided indicators of vulnerability, including a letter from the Helen Bamber Foundation that stated the detainee’s case merited further clinical investigation.

The Administrative Court held, “without hesitation, in light of the concession and declaration in JM that it was unlawful not to release the Claimant within one day of receipt of the letter [from the Helen Bamber Foundation].” The High Court also stated that “there was an unacceptable failure to identify him as a potentially vulnerable person whose case required further investigation and therefore as someone whose claim was not in fact suitable for retention within the DFT because it could not be dealt with fairly and quickly within the DFT. The combined process of screening and the operation of Rules 34 and 35 had the proper procedures been followed would have identified him as a possible victim of torture. The unacceptable risk of failure referred to in the "unsuitability for DFT declaration" of Blake J applies squarely to the facts of this Claimant's circumstances and experience in the DFT.”

Read more: Duncan Lewis,

Home Office Used Charity Data Map to Deport Rough Sleepers

The Home Office secretly acquired sensitive data, showing the nationality of people sleeping rough on the streets, in order to remove them from Britain, the Observer can reveal. A chain of emails sent by senior Home Office immigration officials show how they used information that was designed to protect rough sleepers to target vulnerable individuals for deportation. The internal correspondence shows the Home Office repeatedly requesting and finally gaining access to a map created by the Greater London Authority (GLA) that identified and categorised rough sleepers by nationality.

The secret arrangement meant frontline outreach workers tasked with helping the homeless by collating data for the GLA were inadvertently helping the Home Office to remove people who were from the EU or central eastern Europe. In May 2016, the Home Office introduced guidance enabling immigration enforcement teams to deport EU nationals, purely on the grounds that they were sleeping rough.

Read more: Mark Townsend, Guardian,

Upper Tribunal Provides Guidance in Cases of Judicial Bias

In Sivapatham (Appearance of Bias: Sri Lanka) [2017] UKUT 293 (IAC) (7 July 2017) frustrated novelist and president of the Upper Tribunal McCloskey J considers the law surrounding judicial bias in the tribunal. As with previous exponents of the art (see Denning LJ, or Moses LJ), judgments of the President are almost always entertaining on some level, written with eloquence and a sense of the dramatic, in ornate prose. This determination is no different, and brings together important guidance on the steps to be taken where judicial bias is alleged, and the relevant legal principles for a court hearing any such allegation.

Read mor: Nick Nason, Freemovement,

Study Finds Asylum Judges Fail to Assist Vulnerable Appellants

…There are clearly dangers to an overly rule-bound judicial approach, as conveyed by Conley and O’Barr’s (1988) description of ‘the proceduralist judge’ whose ‘high priority on maintaining procedural regularity’ (498) ‘may become condescending or sarcastic’ (500) and may present the law as ‘remote and inaccessible’ (502). Yet our findings raise concerns over the inequitable use of procedural discretion when it is afforded to judges. Substantive discretion – that is a judge’s freedom to reason and decide without encumbrance – is a different matter and a central requirement of judicial independence. We have demonstrated, however, that where procedural discretion is allowed then patterns of implementation have developed that do not redress disadvantages in the ways that are intended, but that more often either ignore disadvantage, vary according to extraneous influences or, in the worst cases, disadvantage groups that are already marginalized.

Read more: Freemovement,

How to Correct a Mistake in a Country Guidance Case

What happens where the Upper Tribunal makes a mistake in a Country Guidance case? And in what circumstances will the Court of Appeal have jurisdiction to hear an appeal against an Upper Tribunal decision that has already been remitted to the First Tier Tribunal? Both of these interesting issues crop up in AA (Iraq) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 944 (11 July 2017).

The Case of AA - AA was an Iraqi who claimed asylum in the UK in 2009. His appeal has now been in the court system for over 8 years (and counting). The initial application was rejected and several appeals dismissed until AA benefited from a change in the country situation as reflected by the (then) new country guidance case of HM (Iraq) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1536. His case was partially conceded by the Secretary of State in the Court of Appeal (where it had by that point reached) and remitted to the Upper Tribunal, which identified AA as a country guidance case on the issue of the applicability of Art 15(c) Qualification Directive to Iraqi claims.

Read more: Freemovement,