Unlawful imposition of curfews on migrants overturned by courts 27.5.16


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"When some people are released from detention, they are fitted with an electronic monitoring device – a tag. These devices are also used in the criminal justice system and indeed many people seeking the right to remain do not reveal they have a tag, as there is a certain amount of stigma and shame attached to them.


The Home Office use these tags to monitor that someone is complying with their bail conditions (although they may also require the individual to regularly report at a Home Office reporting centre as well).

In this case of Gedi, the lawyers demonstrated that there is in fact no power in legislation that allows the Home Office to impose a curfew (saying they have to be at the residence named in their bail conditions between certain times).

Officials for the Home Office said during the case that they had “assumed” they had the power to impose curfews. When it was shown that they don’t have this power, they instigated a change in policy while the case was ongoing, by which they would ask the judge in the bail hearing to impose the curfew. However, it is not clear if the Home Office ever did this in practice. Now that the judgment in Gedi has been handed down, it has confirmed there is no legal authority to impose curfews as part of bail conditions."

See: Home Office unlawfully imposed curfews: does this affect someone you know? (Right to Remain, link)

Some thoughts on the case from the solicitor who acted on behalf of the claimant: A prisoner in my own home: initial reflections on Gedi v SSHD (Rights of Others, link):

"The unravelling of the Home Office’s immigration curfew regime was hallmarked by confusion, uncertainty and, ultimately, illegality. Whilst the dust settles and the wider ramifications come to light, some matters that arose from the case deserve addressing.

Firstly, the SSHD [Secretary of State for the Home Department] stated during the case that the regime of curfews was based on an “assumption” of legality. The disturbing reality uncovered in this case is the liberty of these individuals was treated as an afterthought by the SSHD. It is telling that the SSHD did not give credence to the legality of the legal regulations that govern immigration detention but rather took those powers for granted. This serves to demonstrate the pressing need for the presumption of liberty, accountability and rights protection; rights which, evidently, the SSHD would otherwise not respect.

Secondly, the conduct of the SSHD during the litigation betrays the contempt with which the SSHD has treated this case and, by implication, the people behind the cases. Amongst other issues, deadlines were missed and evidence was lost. Whilst I found this frustrating, I assumed the indifference was symptomatic of how the SSHD treated this case. However, my colleagues who practice immigration advised me that this is the unfortunate and worryingly consistent practice of the SSHD to immigration cases."

And see the judgment: Between: The Queen on the Application of Abdiwell Gedi Claimant - and - Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 2786 (Admin) (pdf)

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