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Supreme Court rules that the Home Office policy of ‘deport first, appeal later’ is unlawful

Coram welcomes judgment and urges government to review its policy

Coram Children's Legal Centre has welcomed the Supreme Court's judgment in R (on the application of Kiarie) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; R (on the application of Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 42. It has urged the Government to review its policy of deportation prior to appeal and insure that all individuals have an opportunity for a fair hearing in immigration proceedings.

Coram notes that the Immigration Act 2016 gave the Secretary of State power to certify the claim of someone appealing on human rights grounds against an immigration decision. The effect is that that person can appeal only from outside of the UK, unless to do so would breach that person's human rights. This extended to all individuals the provisions that are already in force for the deportation cases of ex-foreign national offenders and will affect all those bringing human rights appeals under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the right to respect for private and family life. Individuals would be required to bring any appeal against a wrong decision from outside the UK, causing the separation of families, disruption to an established life in the UK and significant practical difficulties in appealing from abroad.

The Supreme Court held that the Government had failed to establish that deportation in advance of appeal strikes a fair balance between the rights of the individuals and the interests of the community and was therefore unlawful.

Coram says that there are an estimated 120,000 irregular migrant children living in the UK, over half of whom were born here. Many have spent their formative years in the UK – this is the only 'home' they know and will have no lasting links or support networks in their parents' country of origin. Research by Coram Children's Legal Centre has highlighted that the environment for irregular or undocumented migrant children in the UK, and their ability to have their legal claims to remain considered fairly, has already deteriorated considerably.

In its Migrant Children's Project case note, Coram sets out the relevant points in the judgment as follows:

For the judgment, click here. For the press summary, click here. For Coram's report, Growing up in a hostile environment, click here. For the full case note by Coram's Migrant Children's Project, click here.