action on asylum and refugees - archive
'Zero notice' removals ruled unlawful
Fast-track or 'zero notice' removals of failed asylum-seekers has been ruled unlawful by the High Court in a case initiated by Medical Justice. While the UK Border Agency must usually give 72 working hours notice of a removal direction so detainee/appellants can seek legal support, an exceptions policy was introduced for special circumstances such as unaccompanied children who were at risk of absconding, and where service of the removal directions would create a medically documented risk of suicide or self-harm.
In his judgement, Mr Justice Silber stated "the 2010 exceptions do not take account of 'the need to ensure proper access to the courts'...in practice in the limited time available between serving the removal directions and the actual removal, it is frequently almost impossible that somebody served with removal directions will be able to find a lawyer who would be ready, willing and able to provide legal advice within the time available prior to removal let alone in an appropriate case to challenge those removal directions."
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