Supreme Court confirms scope of protection against unlawful detention


The Supreme Court’s judgment in DN (Rwanda) confirms that detention will be unlawful wherever it is affected by a public law error, or wherever there is no lawful statutory power to detain – irrespective of whether the initial error arose in the context of the decision to detain itself, or of an earlier decision or instrument. Accordingly, the appellant’s detention – which had been authorised on the basis of a deportation decision made on application of a statutory instrument later recognised as ultra vires – was unlawful, and he was entitled to bring a claim for false imprisonment. In so holding, the Court resisted a dilution of the principles set out in the seminal case of Lumba v SSHD [2012] AC 245.

Raza Husain QC, Laura Dubinsky and Eleanor Mitchell were instructed by the Intervener, Bail for Immigration Detainees.

For Case Summary and link to judgment, please click here.