As a direct access immigration barrister there are two scenarios that three scenarios that are very rewarding, the first when a family / client gets their bio metric residence permits and are now able to live lawfully in and contribute to society and live in general in the UK, the second is obtaining an injunction from the Court preventing an individual from being removed and thirdly when the Court Orders that the Secretary of State bring back a client that they should, in my view, never have removed.
This happened to me yesterday.
I had been instructed by the excellent Shayela Khan of Barnes Harild and Dyer (“BHD”) solicitors in Croydon in a number of Dublin II cases.These are third country cases where the client does not want to be removed, in this case, to Italy because the treatment / conditions there are very poor. It is arguable that the situation in Italy is not helped by the financial crisis there which is far worse than it is in the UK and London in particular. Indeed it could be argued that the Italian navy are doing a good job in saving lives, by virtue of their Mare Nostrum program of rescuing asylum seekers outside their own territorial waters.
Anyway back to the removal and return.
In one case the solicitors have lodged a JR application which had prevented his removal. His case was stayed behind EM (Eritrea) which was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court in the Applicant’s favour. The Home Office through the Treasury Solicitor then withdrew the decision refusing and certifying his human rights claim. This lead to the JR claim being settled on consent, on the condition that he would not be removed until his human rights claim had been reconsidered.
You can perhaps guess what happened next.
The Claimant’s solicitors got a telephone call from the client, who was now living in a makeshift camp in Calais France having been removed by the Secretary of State shortly after the Consent Order was sealed to Italy.
The Claimant’s solicitors contacted the Treasury Solicitor who then responded saying that he had not been removed and he had fabricated his account. This was implausible, but not impossible, given that this was his third attempt to claim asylum in the UK having been removed twice before and he had a wife in the UK with DLR who was soon going to be eligible for ILR.
Statements were taken from the Claimant (by phone) and from his wife (in person) and an application made to the Court for an Order bringing him back. This was perhaps not as contentious as it suggests as the Secretary of State had accepted responsibility for his claim over a month ago but had taken no steps to effect his return.
Given the position of the Secretary of State an urgent application was lodged with the Administrative Court on Friday. Following consideration of the papers and the Secretary of State’s assertion that the account of his removal was not true, Bean J ordered that the Secretary of State use her best endeavours to secure his return. The Order provided that the Secretary of State have liberty to apply, however, the Secretary of State has agreed to bring him back but will be contesting his claim – a claim that not only states that he would be at risk of treatment contrary to article 3 if returned to Italy but also now that he was detained and unlawfully removed to Italy.
As noted above, this is a rewarding outcome, but it is far from being the end of the case and I will no doubt post further later.
Paul Turner is a highly regarded direct access immigration barrister practising from Mansfield Chambers, the Chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, 5 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1LG and a door tenant at 39 Park Square Leeds LS1 2NU and is licensed by the Bar Council to provide advice and representation directly to the public.