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Ayesha practices in public law, immigration and asylum, and international law.

Immigration, asylum, EU free movement, deportation, detention and trafficking

Ayesha has extensive experience in immigration and asylum law, having worked in the field for the past 11 years. She regularly represents individuals in appeals in the First Tier and Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, as well as in judicial review proceedings. She has a particular interest in children and vulnerable adults involved in the immigration and asylum process, including victims of trafficking. Ayesha is regularly instructed in judicial reviews connected to the NRM process, challenges to the support entitlements of victims of trafficking, asylum appeals with a trafficking element, and unlawful detention claims.

Ayesha also advises on nationality issues and is involved in applications and judicial reviews under the Windrush scheme.

She regularly provides expert opinions on immigration and nationality issues for Local Authorities, proceedings in the Family Courts and Extradition proceedings.

Ayesha is also experienced in representing individuals accused of English language test fraud, and individuals whose applications under the Points Based System cases are refused on the basis of tax discrepancies. She advises on sensitive cases where visas fall to be refused on mandatory and discretionary grounds under the Immigration Rules.

Ayesha regularly delivers talks and training (to legal and non-legal audiences) in all aspects of UK and EU immigration law, international refugee and human rights law, and the protection of victims of trafficking. She is involved in pro bono initiatives to assist refugees, including with Refugee Legal Support in Athens. Ayesha is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and the Bar Human Rights Committee.

Before coming to the Bar, Ayesha worked as a Caseworker at Refugee and Migrant Justice, the Senior Immigration Advisor at the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, and interned at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ecuador, where she provided legal analysis of complex issues arising in UNHCR’s Refugee Status Determinations, and wrote legal reference material for the UNHCR Protection team. She speaks Spanish to an advanced level.

Notable cases include:

AL (Albania) v SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 950 – challenge concerning the correct approach to earlier asylum appeal determinations

K and AM v SSHD [2018] EWHC 2951 (Admin) – successful challenge to the decision to cut subsistence payments for victims of trafficking

AS (Guinea) v SSHD [2018] EWCA Civ 2234 – intervening on behalf of UNHCR, addressing the standard and burden of proof in statelessness cases

Medical Justice and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] 4 WLR 198 (representing five of the claimants) – successfully argued that the definition of torture in the Home Office’s immigration detention policy was unlawful

Public law and human rights

Ayesha has a wide-ranging public law practice, which spans community care, equality and discrimination, social welfare, environment, inquests, prison law, actions against the police, and national security cases.

She is frequently instructed in age dispute cases, including complex cases which involve issues of mental capacity or a trafficking element.

Ayesha’s prison law practice includes judicial reviews challenging the treatment of children detained in Young Offenders Institutions, including challenges to the use of adult restraint techniques on children, and holding children in solitary confinement.

Her national security work involves human rights and equality challenges arising from airport stops under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, the retention of biometric data by the police, and the cancellation of passports of British citizens on national security grounds.

Ayesha is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of preferred counsel.

Notable cases include:

AB v Secretary of State for Justice [2019] EWCA Civ 9 – arguing that the solitary confinement of a child in a young offenders institution breached Articles 3 and 8 ECHR

B and ND v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2651 (Admin) – challenge to the cancellation of the claimants’ British passports on grounds of national security

FA v LB Ealing (2017) 20 CCL Rep 383 (JR/12123/2016) – successfully resisted a dental age assessment in judicial review of a local authority’s age assessment

Education and awards

Ayesha holds a First Class degree in Philosophy from Bristol University and a Masters with Distinction in Social and Global Justice. She studied the Graduate Diploma in Law at Nottingham Law School, obtaining a Distinction, and was awarded prizes for achieving the highest marks in the year, and for Best Private Law student. She was a semi-finalist in the 2013 European Court of Human Rights moot. Ayesha was awarded the Queen Mother Scholarship from Middle Temple. She won the 2014 Middle Temple Rosamund Smith moot, judged by Lord Dyson MR, and also won the prize for Best Oralist. She was awarded the 2015 Peter Duffy human rights scholarship by the Bar European Group, and a 2016 Pegasus scholarship for a judicial assistant exchange visit to the United States Supreme Court.

Ayesha was a Supreme Court Judicial Assistant to Lord Reed and Lord Carnwath from 2015-2016.

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