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Immigration Judges and Migration Watch


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I am back from my very pleasant holidays and thought I would kick off what feels like a new season with some juicy gossip.

Many lawyers in the sector will know that ex immigration judges (then plain old adjudicators, in fact) Patricia Skitmore, John Disley and Harry Mitchell QC joined Migration Watch after stepping down as judges. Some might say this showed their true colours. Few immigration lawyers who appeared before them will have been much surprised by this development, though.

A little bird tells me that Mark Ockleton himself has granted permission to appeal in a case where the grounds are essentially that the previous determination by one of the Migration Watch Three must be considered unsafe. An expert report is being commissioned into whether Migration Watch really is anti-immigration.

It should be a very interesting determination, whichever way it goes.

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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.


7 Responses

    1. Ah, I made it private as I thought it was too indiscrete! Better adjust my latest post slightly…

  1. Although MW are, in my view, nutters, they are not really the main problem. This AM on “Today” Chris Grayling was interviewed. He made it clear that both he and the previous govt were responding to public anxiety on Immigration. He did not give any other reason for “bearing down” on numbers as he put it. He accepted that overseas students are good for the economy. It is just a problem of spineless politicians.

    It was said that the govt had investigated and one fifth of students were still in the UK after 5 years. Bearing in mind that no one fills in exit cards these days it would be interesting to know just how the govt came by these figures. Some back of an envelope job probably.

    1. I’m also confused about the significance of the one fifth figure. A lot of them will have stayed on legitimately through the Post Study Work visa, work permits of some sort or through long courses.