As a direct access immigration barrister few aspects of my work are as rewarding as obtaining an injunction or preventing a well deserving client from being removed from the United Kingdom.
Today was such a day. Though yesterday when the case came to me I was unsure as to what the outcome would.
I was contacted late afternoon yesterday by the excellent Charlotte Pugh of Fadiga and Co and asked if I could do an out of hours application for an injunction. I asked for the papers to be sent over and it became clear that the case was plainly meritorious. The client was a pregnant Jamaican who was plainly unwell and who was unfit to fly. The solicitors had sent a medical report prepared by the fantastic Medical Justice to the Secretary of State which made it clear that she was too sick to fly being at risk of not only miscarriage but also thrombosis. The solicitors had requested that the Secretary of State cancel the removal directions prior to 1700 yesterday. The Secretary of State refused.
I contacted the out of hours duty Judge, who was the very conscientious Dingemans J, and supplied the Court will all the papers. The Judge contacted the Home Office (OSCU) who informed the Judge that they were going to carry out an assessment today.
The Judge was not prepared to grant me the injunction as he considered it fair that the Secretary of State have the opportunity of putting in evidence and the matter was adjourned to be heard at 1000 this morning.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend in person and no one else could be found. Fortunately the Judge was prepared to hear me by telephone.
There was then a telephone hearing between me, the Judge and the Home Office. During the hearing it became clear that the Secretary of State had not actually carried out an assessment or considered the matters of concern raised by the Medical Justice report. Happily though, it became clear, during the hearing that the Home Office had cancelled the removal directions prior to a consideration of the new report and the Judge made an order reflecting this.
This was both a stressful and rewarding case. Happily it ended well. It was, in my view, a good case, no small part due to the conscientious manner in which the application was prepared by the solicitors.
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.