High Court rules UK detained fast-track appeal system unlawful

Last updated June 12, 2015Press release

In a ground-breaking ruling, the High Court today declared that the fast-track asylum appeal system is unlawful.

The judgment follows lengthy legal action taken by charity Detention Action.

Under the detained fast track system, asylum appeals are processed within a very short space of time, giving individuals and their representatives little or no time to prepare.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Nicol said the system must be quashed, adding that it was “structurally unfair” and that it “looks uncomfortably akin to…sacrificing fairness on the altar of speed and convenience.”

However, the court has put a ‘stay’ on his orders, meaning that the system will continue while the Government is given a chance to appeal the court’s decision.

Commenting on the ruling, Tim Hilton, Head of Strategy at Refugee Action, said:

“For over a decade the Home Office has favoured speed at the expense of justice. Today’s judgment is an important victory for the countless individuals who are locked up and robbed of the chance to have a fair appeal.

“This ground-breaking ruling is yet another example of our unjust and inhumane asylum system, that so often fails to give people seeking safety access to the justice they deserve.”

Read the full judgment.

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