High Court finds that the operation of the Detained Fast Track asylum system is unlawful

In a landmark ruling in a case brought by Detention Action, the High Court has today found that the way the government operates the Detained Fast Track asylum system is unlawful.

In a judgment between Detention Action and the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with the Equality Human Rights Commission as an intervener, handed down on 9 July 2014, the Judge (Ouseley J) ruled that ‘the DFT as operated carries an unacceptably high risk of unfairness.’

The Judge highlighted failings in the Fast Track system and made suggestions as to how they might be remedied, but found that these did not by themselves lead to the system being inherently unlawful. However, the Judge said that lawyers were instructed too late and there was an unjustified period of activity between induction of the asylum seeker into the system and the allocation of lawyers, this was unfair and can be remedied by instructing lawyers earlier in the process.

However, even if the Home Office allows for earlier instructions of lawyers the other deficiencies in the system may still mean that there are instances of unfairness in individual cases.

Please read the press release from Detention Action for further information on the judgement and the Fast Track process.
Detention Action DFT Press Release copy 2Detention Action DFT Press Release copy

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