As a direct access immigration barrister based in London in the dynamic and fast growing Imperium Chambers yesterday was such as a stressful day it has taken me until today to write up the day. Normally I would not be writing up each day, however the day is worthy of merit and mention.
I had a number of cases, some of them better prepared than others.
I have had cases that have not been well prepared but are meritorious before and vice versa. Yesterday’s cases were a mixed bag. One was a case that deserved permission and one was a case that was always going to struggle and one could have gone either way.
The case which I rated was a good case duly had permission granted. The solicitors, the expert and excellent Sunrise solicitors, had well prepared the case, perhaps in no small part by highlighting the errors on behalf of the Respondent. The Upper Tribunal Judge picked up on the main error and asked Counsel for the Home Office if they had any response. In short they had no real response. Indeed such was the strength of the case that the Judge did not call on me.
The second case was well prepared but the client had delayed for years in bringing what was otherwise a good claim. The Judge latched onto the delay immediately and used that as a reason for rejecting the case. What struck me as unfair as my client had been unlawfully detained and unlawfully removed from the United Kingdom and yet the Secretary of State had not responded nor apologised to the Applicant.
The last case was the case which could have gone each way. In my view the case had been well prepared by the equally excellent Bhogal partners. It was a case where the Home Office had certified a case where there was a wealth of documentary evidence without properly or indeed at all having regard to the material submitted. The hearing went on for well over a hour before the Judge asked me to pause before responding before granting permission again without having me respond.
It was overall a good day. Spoiled a little by the dismissal of the middle application. However this application was rejected almost entirely on the basis of the delay.
All the applications were prepared properly. This goes to the credit of the solicitors and made my work much easier. However what prevented a clean sweep was the delay on the part of the Applicant in the middle application in not having made the application promptly.
The moral or reasoning from this blog is that if you have an application it must be brought urgently. I understand that the Upper Tribunal are due to put out a decision which states that the “brought promptly or in any event three months” will focus on the “brought promptly” rather than the 3 months being a de facto period.
If individuals do not bring applications promptly I think that there will be a lot of people who find themselves being refused on the basis of delay who perhaps six months ago would not have faced such a problem.
If you or a family friend have an immigration problem or have been served with a refusal I would urge you to seek professional advice as soon as possible from a reputable firm of lawyers. I would be honoured to see if I can help you or your family members.