Whether the claimant immigrant’s detention had been lawful


Re: R (Sino) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1831 (Admin)

The claimant had been detained by immigration authorities at the end of a prison sentence, pending deportation, but officials had been unable to obtain the necessary travel documents from Algerian authorities which would have enabled him to be sent home. The essence of this claim is that the claimant has been unlawfully detained for specific periods, and that he remains at present, unlawfully detained.
Several issues were considered. The first was whether it was lawful for the Secretary of State to refuse to determine the Claimant’s application for accommodation under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, s4. The court recognised that there was an impasse in relation to the Secretary of State’s need to satisfy herself that the Claimant was or was likely to become destitute, for reasons including that no suitable address was provided for the Claimant  and the Claimant did not want to acknowledge that he had spent an entire compensatory award and was no longer in funds. The court concluded that no decision was made nor, on proper construction, was there any refusal to entertain the application, and so this ground of relief failed.
The second issue was whether the duration of the Claimant’s detention was at all times reasonable and / or whether it appeared at all times that the Claimant could be removed within a reasonable period. The court also considered the current position at the same time i.e. whether the duration of the Claimant’s detention has become unreasonable and / or whether it appears that the Claimant can be removed within a reasonable period. The court considered that the Claimant had been unlawfully detained between 13 July 2013 and 10 December 2013 and was entitled to damages on a compensatory basis. However, the court was satisfied that detention post 10 December 2013 is justified.
The third issue was whether the deportation order was lawfully issued, after a deportation order was made under an alias, revoked, and another deportation order later made with the correct name. The court rejected the argument that the later order was unlawful.
The court therefore rejected the grounds of claim, save for and limited to its finding that the Claimant was detained between 30 July 2013 and 10 December 2013  when there was, at that stage, no realistic prospect of deportation; his detention for that period was therefore unlawful.
Chris Buttler was involved in this case.