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Field House burns down [update: in parts]
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Just heard this at court this morning. Apparently fire broke out at 3.40pm yesterday. Did I notice a thing on the way home, which takes me just past there? I did not. Sounds like no-one was hurt, happily, and that there was a proper conflagration on the top floor. There were a lot of records in that building, I imagine, so as well as the loss of court rooms and the loss of the secure facilities in the basement (used for SIAC cases), there is likely to be considerable disruption to reconsideration cases. The AIT website says at the moment that hearings for 20 March have been cancelled and there will be another announcement tomorrow about hearings for next week.
I’d recently considered doing a post on how ghostly quiet Field House has been of late, how it seemed to be used for non immigration matters as well now and passing on the rumour that the SIJs have finally cleared the reconsideration backlog (just in time for the system to be abolished). I thought this was a bit insubstantial for a post by itself, but a proper fire gives me a chance to mention these things in passing.
Other hearing centre news: it is Surbiton’s last day tomorrow, apparently. Instead there’s a new hearing centre to be used at Sutton, shared with the social security security tribunal.