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Misfeasance in public office


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UKBA got away with an appeal against a finding of misfeasance in public office in the new case of Muuse v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 453, but lost on the award of exemplary damages. In the course of judgment Lord Justice Thomas held that the award of £27,000

was needed to stigmatise the conduct of the officials at the Home Office as an outrageous and arbitrary exercise of executive power

While the appalling facts of the case might surprise some (prolonged detention of a Dutch national when there was no power to do so), I have a case pending where UKBA refused to release a detainee even though there was DNA evidence that the detainee was British and even after bail had been granted. Unbelievably, they are choosing to fight the case. Maybe we’ll get a finding of misfeasance on those facts…

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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.


2 Responses

  1. The Muuse case is a shocker for the HO.

    You said “I’m not sure that the bureaucracy of UKBA could get any more Byzantine”

    Is this case what you had in mind when you wrote that response?
    How often do you see such examples of “systemic failure/incompetance”?