Winning the battle but losing the war: ECHR concludes Zimbabwean claimant unlawfully detained but refuses to award damages

In SMM v. THE UNITED KINGDOM – 77450/12 (Judgment : Violation of Article 5 – Right to liberty and security (Article 5-1 – Lawful arrest or detention)) [2017] ECHR 582 (22 June 2017), a Zimbabwean national residing in the UK, complained to the ECHR that his detention from 28 November 2008 to 15 September 2011 was in violation of Article 5  1 (f) of the Convention, was lawful under domestic law and was unreasonable, arbitrary and disproportionate.

 

Even though S.M.M, had been detained for a period of two and half years and  was  considered vulnerable as someone suffering from serious mental health problems, nothing much turned upon  the issues  of the  stay on forced removals to Zimbabwe  that was in place during his period of detention but most importantly,  because of his conduct during the period of detention, the ECHR refused to  afford the applicant any financial compensation  for the  period during which he was found to have been  unlawfully detained.

 

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The inflexible Adult Dependent Relative Rules are here to stay so says the Court of Appeal

“The question is whether there is now general acceptance that these rules are here to stay as unchallengeable/unamendable….”,  so enquired  my previous blog article of October 2015 in relation to the  Rules  relating to Adult Dependent Relatives( ADR’s): Adult Dependant Relatives: Very Deliberately Onerous Rules

 

An ambitious challenge  brought   about by  BRITCITS in  BRITCITS v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 368 (24 May 2017) has elicited a negative response to the question of whether the ADR Rules  can be challenged successfully with a view to striking them  down as unlawful. Rather, the Court of Appeal emphasized  disappointingly, True it is that significantly fewer dependants, including parents, will be able to satisfy the new conditions but that was always the intention”.

 

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Inbuilt obstacles and mechanisms that the Home Office use to defeat, deny and deter immigration claims

On the surface, all that is required to enable preparation and submission of a successful application to the Home Office is self-evident.  After all, the application forms themselves are free and readily accessible (postal or on-line, as relevant). These applications forms indicate what documents are required to support an application. Additionally, voluminous Home Office guidance policy is transparently available for leisurely perusal in advance of submitting an application. With all this in sight, in some categories, it seems there  isn’t even any need to consult a legal practitioner prior to submission of an application.

 

There are however in-built laws, policies and procedures in the assessment process of immigration applications, such that a seemingly straightforward application may end up falling foul of these provisions.

 

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Clearly unfounded claims and the two stage reasoning process: Section 94 Certification policy updated following FR & KL 2016

On 12 April 2017, the Home Office’s  Section 94 Certification Policy Guidance was updated  in order to, “provide further clarification of when to certify a human rights claim and to reflect the need to give reasoning when certifying a claim as set out in FR & KL (2016) v SSHD EWC CIV”.(Certification of protection and human rights claims under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (clearly unfounded claims).

 

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New Guide for the end of 2016!

Click the link below and open the pdf guide to immigration changes made in November and December 2016.

 

There are even further immigration changes expected in 2017 and in particular with the coming into force fully in February 2017 of the 2016 EEA Regulations, both immigration practitioners and lay applicants are expected to be fairly au fait with the changes so as to be able to prepare applications with a fair chance of success.

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A Guide to the November and December 2016 changes