'Judicial Reviews and Injunctions' removal policy ruled as unlawful

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The Court of Appeal has today declared that the Secretary of State’s policy on removal of migrants is unlawful in that it gives rise to a real risk of preventing access to justice, contrary to the constitutionally protected rights of the migrant. Alex Goodman of Landmark Chambers acted as junior counsel for the Appellant FB in The Queen on the application of FB (Afghanistan) and Medical Justice v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1338 The Court of Appeal found that the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s (‘SSHD’) removal policy, known as the ‘Judicial Reviews and Injunctions’ policy, is unlawful on the basis that it breaches the constitutional right of access to justice. The Court found unanimously that there was an unlawful defect in the policy that a decision on an individual’s fresh asylum claim (or other further submissions) could be served on them when they were liable for removal without any further notice. This restricted their ability to access the Courts/ Tribunal to challenge any negative decision. The Court declared the policy to be unlawful and consequently varied the order of the Upper Tribunal in R (FB and another) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (removal window policy) [2018] UKUT 428 (IAC) The Judicial Reviews and Injunctions policy sought to replace the long-standing practice of giving individuals liable to removal specific directions of their removal with 72 hours’ notice of a removal “window”: a three month period in which they could be removed at any point. The press release and the final judgment can be found here and here. Press coverage can be found in the Guardian.

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