As a direct access immigration barrister practising in London I have seen the forcuss moro The Home Office has amended the general grounds of refusal to include those who owe the Home Office and government money.
The General grounds for refusal are to be found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules, they include those who have used deception to overstayers.
The Home Office has now included those who owe money to the government. This therefore includes those who have had judicial review applications go sour and who have lost. Often the fees claimed by the Home Office are of a minor nature and this should not be a problem.
It does mean that if you are considering a JR then you should seek proper legal advice.If you have a case then it should be fought and properly fought with good lawyers. You should given great consideration to bringing the claim. A well brought claim that succeeds is likely to result in you recovering costs.
However a poorly brought claim is likely to hold up any settlement in that I have often had claims brought recently where we have had a pre action letter followed by a detailed JR claim which has lead to the SSHD conceding and paying costs.
While this may appear like an attempt to drum up business, I can assure you it is not. There is nothing worse for me than seeing individuals who have been fleeced and then who cannot bring a claim which would have resulted in them in obtaining status.
I would therefore advise that anyone who is the position of making an application make the best possible application so as to avoid wasted costs or costs that otherwise need not be paid.
Again with judicial review I would suggest that you make the best possible application again if you do and win, great costs usually follow the event and you will recover them, however if you lose for a technical reason then you or your hopefully skilled advocate will be able to avoid costs being awarded against you. While before costs was an issue that could be held against you now they have been incorporated into the ever more stringent immigration rules.
If you or a friend are considering making an application or have made an application but await the outcome or if you have a family member in the same situation please get in touch with me or a reputable lawyer and see what can be done in respect of this issue.
Paul Turner is the head of Imperium Chambers, based at 32 Bedford Row, London, WC1R 4HE and is a respected direct access barrister who is committed to securing the best possible results for his clients. He is also a member of the excellent Goldsmith Chambers, the chambers of Tony Metzer QC. He runs a team of 5 people all of whom have at the very least a law degree and all of whom are committed to the law and ensuring that those who require help receive it.