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Torture definition in Home Office’s immigration detention policy unlawful.

Related Member(s):
Chris Buttler QC, Ayesha Christie, Sarah Hannett QC
Related Practice Area(s):
Immigration, Asylum and Free Movement, Public Law

In Medical Justice & Ors v SSHD [2017] EWHC 2461 (Admin), the High Court today ruled that the definition of torture in the Home Office’s immigration detention policy is unlawful. The policy provided protection to “victims of torture”, but defined torture in limited terms. Ouseley J held that the definition was unlawful because it “lacked a rational or evidence base”, required medical practitioners to reach conclusions on political issues which they could not rationally be asked to reach, and failed to protect individuals who are particularly vulnerable to harm in detention. The Guardian reports that hundreds of victims of torture have been affected.

Chris Buttler and Ayesha Christie represented five of the claimants, and Sarah Hannett acted for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

For press coverage, please see here.
For Matrix Case Summary, please see here.
For the judgment, please see here.