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Iraqi removals flight


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iraq032403a1News just in: Mr Justice Davis sitting in the High Court has ordered the Home Office to disclose ‘details of the route and destination’ of a proposed removals flight to Iraq. Rumours about this charter flight have been flying and the Home Office have been, unusually, refusing to provide any details of the flight’s destination within Iraq. Mark Henderson, instructed by Refugee and Migrant Justice, has secured an order for information to be given to one applicant and for his removal to be stayed pending compliance with the order.

The Home Office have not complied.

This is a case where the Home Office is trying to have it both ways. In GH v SSHD [2005] EWCA Civ 1182 they argued that the route and destination of removal could not be considered by the tribunal but could be subjected to judicial review when the precise route and destination of removal were decided. Now, they are claiming that there is no need to disclose this information.

Will the Home Office prove unwilling to disclose the information and cancel the flight? Will they seek to appeal the decision to make the order? Will they just provide the information as ordered? Or will they just go ahead anyway and break the law? If I find out, I’ll let you know.

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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.


5 Responses

  1. Interesting this. A flight has deffo gone out yesterday as I overheard a conversation about this today. Anyone with any more info?

    1. The Guardian are reporting that only six of the intended passengers were not sent on the flight, which was to Baghdad and left today. It is deeply worrying that the determining factor of whether one is sent to an unknown destination by an unknown route to a country accepted by the Home Office to be in a state of internal conflict is whether one has access to a good lawyer or not – not whether one’s case is strong. What we are seeing, over and over again, is that the Home Office acts unlawfully all the time but is only caught out occasionally in individual cases, when those cases come to the attention of a lawyer. It is no way to run a country according to the rule of law.

  2. Got this news just now:

    The approximately 40 people who were deported to Baghdad yesterday have been brought back to the UK.
    According to reports from people on the plane, the authorities in Baghdad refused to let them get off after landing and the plane had to come back.

    They are now in Brook House detention centre.
    More details to follow.
    Contact 07824996724

    International Federation of Iraqi Refugees
    Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq

  3. This Guardian story is interesting as is this in The Times. Sounds like the guards on the ground in Iraq basically refused to accept forcible returns. This problem really highlights the need to know where the flight is going!