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“The Claimant is not a particularly worthy, likeable or sympathetic individual…”


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I said during the course of the hearing words to the effect that the Claimant is not a particularly worthy, likeable or sympathetic individual, and that there must be at least a risk that any award of damages would not be put to good use. I do not withdraw those observations. Another way of looking at this case, however, is to point out that the Claimant is vulnerable, that he probably suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and that only those obligated to an adherence to the rule of law would be likely to vindicate his rights. This alternative viewpoint is based not on any subjective preferences but on the loyal discharge of the judicial function.

Mr Justice Jay at paragraph 259 of AXD v The Home Office [2016] EWHC 1133 (QB) (13 May 2016). A finding is made of over 20 months of unlawful detention and a “substantial” award of damages will follow. See also, for example, paragraphs 204 to 206 where the judge criticises Home Office inaction in the case, the failure by officials to take a holistic view and poor evidence presented in the course of the litigation.

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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.