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New Home Office immigration bail guidance


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Criminal casework: bail applications, action before and during a bail hearing or decision. I hadn’t seen this before, I confess, and it has now been updated. Flicking through it I notice there is a detailed section on licenses and Home Office duties regarding release addresses which is useful (some judges and HOPOs seem to think it is the detainees job to sort this out), theft is described as a “minor offence” on p22 (some judges and HOPOs seem to think it is serious, thus causing us to run out of English language words for offences that are genuinely serious ones), there is interesting material on surety checks, much of which is redacted, between £2,000 and £5,000 is regarded by the Home Office to be normally acceptable as a sum of recognisance (which needless to say is a lot of money, and far more than many detainees or sureties possess), the guidance is notably silent on the need to provide evidence to back up assertions made in bail summaries and there is a new section on the exercise of the decision to grant Home Office consent to bail if an immigration judge grants bail within 14 days of a date set for removal (a new provision under the Immigration Act 2014):

The power [to withhold consent] should only be exercised in exceptional circumstances, where for example, it is considered that the judge has not correctly weighed the high risk of absconding in coming to the decision to grant bail, or given enough weight to the public protection risk (if appropriate).

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.


4 Responses

  1. I had a bail application yesterday for a detainee at Manch IAC which fell under the new rules requiring SSHD’s consent for release. The judge only realised this after he had retired to consider his decision, prior to which it appeared very likely That the decision would have been a favourable one. The judge returned and said that his decision to release would be “useless as it was subject to the SSHD’s consent”, wrongly speculating that consent would inevitably be witheld. The HOPO, on hearing this then said that it would be unlikely that he would consent if bail was granted. Shockingly the judge then went on to refuse the bail, despite my best efforts to convince him that the whole decision making procedure had just been turned upside down! I hope this isnt a sign of things to come. I got my injunction on removal today thankfully.

  2. This makes the court bail meaningless, if the SSHD has to make the final decision! What is the use of the IJ then?? So what do u do if the SSHD refuses to give consent?? Contempt of court decision??? Crazy Section!!