Removals by charter flight fall but violence stalks those carried out

Last year saw a “significant reduction” in charter flights to remove migrants from the UK, a watchdog reported this week — but those so removed are still physically restrained more often than is necessary. In the latter respect, the 2019 annual report of the Independent Monitoring Boards Charter Flight Monitoring...

22nd May 2020
BY CJ McKinney

Last night a deportation flight took off for Jamaica, despite the protests of MPs and a last minute injunction that saw some removed from the plane. Many of the Jamaican citizens involved grew up in the UK — such as the man who has been here since the age of...

11th February 2020
BY Colin Yeo

Home Office charter flights still involve too much physical restraint of the migrants being removed, according to a watchdog’s annual report. The Independent Monitoring Boards’ Charter Flight Monitoring Team published its annual report yesterday, saying that it “remains concerned” about flights to other European Union countries in particular. Overall, the...

5th June 2019
BY CJ McKinney

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) has published its annual review of the treatment of returnees during charter flights. It reported four headline concerns: firstly, that force and restraint had been used without due checks and for too long; secondly, that escorts employed by contractors were in charge of selecting which...

10th July 2017
BY Paul Erdunast

The London-based research group Corporate Watch has just published a 20-page briefing examining the lawfulness the UK’s mass deportation charter flights. Part of a forthcoming report by Corporate Watch and the campaign group Stop Deportations, it aims to provide campaigners and legal practitioners with some arguments and tools with which...

29th July 2013
BY Shiar Youssef

It is Sri Lanka Charter Flight day again today. Just a quick one to say that the UK Border Agency has suddenly withdrawn parts of its new October 2012 Operational Guidance Note (link to old version) on Sri Lanka. Paragraphs 3.3.4 and 13.6 have been substantially amended (see TAG website...

23rd October 2012
BY Free Movement

Below is a list of materials which can be used in connection/in support of claims against decisions to remove on the charter flight(s) bound for Sri Lanka next week. The list will be updated as and when relevant materials are published and/or circulated, so watch this space. Not a comprehensive...

15th September 2012
BY Shivani Jegarajah

There are we understand two charter flights bound to Sri Lanka on the 19 and 20 September 2012. If detainees do not have solicitors then contact Janani Jananayagam from TAG [Tamils Against Genocide] who can be contacted on 07801 999130. She will direct detainees to solicitors who may be able...

14th September 2012
BY Shivani Jegarajah

EDIT 14/12/11: Treasury Solicitor letter to High Court regarding charter flight can be found here. Question: Who said this? We will continue to investigate any credible and relevant allegations and review our policy in light of any findings. Answer: Alistair Burt, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Afghanistan/South Asia, counter terrorism/proliferation,...

11th December 2011
BY Shivani Jegarajah

Inspectors observing a Home Office charter flight taking asylum seekers to France and Germany have found that coronavirus precautions were not followed. The report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons also found that pain was deliberately inflicted on three highly distressed people, although it was unable to say whether the use...

2nd October 2020
BY CJ McKinney

  At Renaissance Chambers we have been involved with a number of recent Afghani and Pakistani (Ahmadi) charter flight cases and injunctions. I have noticed a couple of things that are troubling me. Firstly some of the factual immigration summaries prepared by the Home Office omit references to previous fresh...

31st May 2013
BY Shivani Jegarajah

News 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...

14th October 2009
BY Free Movement

This is our write up of the first of the Home Secretary’s recent dump of the much delayed reports from the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration. The one point I will make from the outset is that anyone who is working on Albanian claims should read the relevant...

6th March 2024
BY Sonia Lenegan

The Independent Monitoring Board has explicitly connected the Rwanda agreement with an increased risk of detainees self-harming in its latest report. The ‘Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board at Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre’ for 2022 covers the Colnbrook and Harmondsworth centres. The usual themes of these reports are there,...

21st August 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

On 17 July 2023, a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published. As usual, it is accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum. Also as usual, it is largely concerned with cracking down on those perceived as abusing immigration law. There are, though, one or two positive changes. Asylum...

18th July 2023
BY Deborah Revill

It hasn’t been a great week to be the Home Secretary or a Home Office official. Since Suella Braverman’s statement to the House of Commons on Monday, there has been one crisis after another. The Manston facility remains egregiously overcrowded. The camp is designed to hold no more than 1000...

4th November 2022
BY Nicholas Reed Langen

Asylum seekers arriving by boat have started to receive notices informing them of the UK government’s intention to remove them to Rwanda pursuant to the “Migration and Economic Development Partnership” announced last month. We learned yesterday that the Home Office wishes to begin removing people on 14 June. This article...

1st June 2022
BY Jed Pennington

This is where we keep tabs on changes to UK immigration laws, rules and procedures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been trying to keep this post continually up to date rather than covering new coronavirus developments as separate blog posts that may become rapidly out of date. Material...

6th September 2021
BY Free Movement

Like many refugee lawyers I have watched in horror as the Taliban, taking their cue from the US troop withdrawal, have swept through Afghanistan. At time of writing, it has been confirmed that the Taliban have taken most of the country, including the major cities of Kandahar, Mazhar-Al-Sharif, Herat and...

16th August 2021
BY Jamie Bell

From the outside looking in, initial immigration enforcement decisions like that in Glasgow last week to detain a person often seem opportunistic and random rather than strategic. The result is that the ‘wrong’ people end up being detained. We know this because of the high number of vulnerable people being...

16th May 2021
BY Colin Yeo

As we continue to grapple with the impact of Brexit, my colleagues and I experienced an increase in Dublin III certification and removal cases at the tail end of last year. In many of those cases, removal directions were deferred and certification decisions were eventually withdrawn. Despite this signalling a...

8th April 2021
BY Sara Anzani

On 26 August 2020 at 7:45, a flight chartered by the Home Office took off from Stansted airport, heading for France via Dusseldorf. The passengers were asylum seekers from countries such as Iran, Sudan and Yemen. A similar flight took off two weeks before; another is reportedly scheduled for 3...

1st September 2020
BY Rachael Lenney

How can a young man with Asperger syndrome and poor mental health, who has lived in the UK for the overwhelming majority of his life, be deported to Jamaica? The Voice newspaper reports on the case of Osime Brown, a 21-year-old man who the Home Office is trying to deport....

11th March 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

This course was last updated in August 2019. This course equips solicitors and barristers with the knowledge and skills they need to secure just outcomes for their clients and to minimise the chances of judicial criticism. It covers: • the ethics of ex parte applications • strategic considerations when dealing...

2nd August 2019
BY CJ McKinney

Since 2014 the Upper Tribunal has permitted the Home Office double the normal time limit set by the procedure “rules” for responding to an application for judicial review. Instead of having the 21 days proscribed by the “rules” to respond to a claim, in a case called Kumar [2014] UKUT...

25th June 2018
BY Colin Yeo

The UK and France have agreed a new Sandhurst Treaty on the management of their shared border. We’ve heard the spin from Macron and May, but what has actually been agreed and will it have a life after Brexit? Given how central the issue of asylum and refugees was in...

19th January 2018
BY Colin Yeo

A new report helps fill some of the gaps in our understanding of the situation facing young men sent back to Afghanistan, writes Maya Pritchard of Asylos. While we await the outcome of AS (Afghanistan), the country guidance case currently before the Upper Tribunal addressing the safety of Kabul, for...

21st December 2017
BY Maya Pritchard

Panorama, Undercover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets is required viewing for anyone interested in immigration in the UK. It is also deeply uncomfortable viewing. It documents an undercover investigation into Brook House, one of the UK’s 13 Immigration Removal Centres. The episode shows detainees subjected to severe violence, taunting, and mistreatment. A...

6th September 2017
BY Thomas Beamont

Following a seven-day hearing in the High Court, Mr Felix Wamala, a Ugandan national, was awarded £48,000 in damages for the actions of private security guards contracted by the Home Office in seeking to remove him from the UK. This is the case of Wamala v Tascor Services Ltd [2017]...

17th July 2017
BY Nath Gbikpi

At the beginning of this month the Home Office brought into force new guidance on the suspension of removal directions for pending judicial reviews. There are two crucial changes to the policy: (1) At present, when a judicial review is brought within 3 months of a previous judicial review or...

21st November 2016
BY Lotte Lewis

New Detention Services Order 05/2015 Reporting and communicating incidents out of hours in the immigration detention estate has just been published covering how out of hours incidents in immigration detention camps and during enforced removals (including charter flights) should be reported and communicated. It replaces two previous DSOs but I...

14th December 2015
BY Colin Yeo

Seasoned public law lawyers have felt for some time that it is far harder to succeed in immigration judicial review applications in the Upper Tribunal than it ever was in the High Court. Cases that would have been very likely to succeed will not only now fail but will be...

9th October 2015
BY Colin Yeo

Section 1 Summary: Section 1 of the Immigration Act 2014 repeals and replaces section 10 of 1999 Act, completely abolishing the historic distinction between overstayers and illegal entrants, removing the need for separate removal directions to enforce removal and streamlining removal powers for family members. Partially commenced from 20 October...

14th June 2014

When acting in an urgent interim relief application you are caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock is judicial disapproval of last minute injunction applications and the risk of public censure. The hard place is the extremely tight timescale of a removal (only 72 hours’ notice is...

28th March 2014

There is no point in seeking an injunction to prevent removal if there is no underlying case for the client to remain in the UK. Several of the Hamid cases involve dishonest, reckless or incompetent applications where the solicitor knew, or should have known, that there was no underling case...

28th March 2014

Removal will ‘normally’ be deferred where a judicial review is lodged in accordance with the Practice Direction. Removal will not automatically be deferred however “where there has been less than three months since a previous JR or statutory appeal or the individual is being removed on a charter flight”. In...

28th March 2014

A long awaited and much needed new Country Guidance cases has finally been issued by the Upper Tribunal: GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC). One of the three appellants succeeded on refugee grounds – congratulations to the legal team behind that result, my...

9th July 2013
BY Colin Yeo

If the cuts to the scope of legal aid brought by LASPO 2012 have been significant, the cuts proposed by the Ministry of Justice in the recent consultation “Transforming legal aid: delivering a more credible and efficient system” would be severe. It is of particular concern that the Government has...

3rd June 2013
BY Claire Physsas

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...

23rd May 2013
BY Free Movement

As most of you know, Renaissance Chambers has developed expertise in conducting Tamil asylum claims. The issues involved in these cases have been previously covered on Free Movement here and these include in particular Chambers’ and the NGOs’ efforts to combat recent charter flights set by the UK Border Agency...

13th May 2013
BY Sarah Pinder
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