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Further judicial warnings on urgent injunction applications


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Sir John Thomas has given a further warning to solicitors and barristers acting in urgent injunction applications. The case is R (on the application of Rehman) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 1351 (Admin). No names are named this time, at least not so far:

In the present case the explanation given for everything being done at the last moment is one where those concerned, following counsel’s clear and cogent advice, did try to satisfy the obligations of disclosure. It is deeply regrettable that because of the way in which that firm was organised and the commitments of counsel that the application was made late. We take this to be one of those rare occasions where something has gone wrong and we propose to take no further action. The other two matters we will deal with as soon as convenient.

The warning in this case is that where an application is made during court office hours, it will always be dealt with by the daytime duty judge. A further application to the out of hours judge should not be made. In this case the application was made at 4.30pm on the date of departure of a charter flight. The Claimant, solicitors and counsel must simply wait to hear:

We have been told by counsel that he did not know that this court always deals with applications submitted within court hours through the judge who is dealing with them in court hours. We wish to correct that misapprehension, because if it is not within the knowledge of counsel as experienced as he, it must be corrected. If the solicitors have not heard, they must wait. The court cannot be expected, if an application is filed as late as it was in this case, to respond immediately, but the solicitors must wait for that response before applying to the out-of-hours judge.

I confess this was news to me as well.

Given the flood of applications that accompanies many charter flights, it seems quite possible that a daytime duty judge will simply not be able to deal with every application before take off. This apparently absolute bar on approaching the out of hours judge could conceivably lead to cases simply not being dealt with in time.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.