Leading article: Fast-tracked injustice

Share
Related Topics

The Home Office was yesterday given the right to appeal against a High Court ruling that it has been breaking the law by "fast-tracking" the removal of asylum-seekers before they can contact their lawyers to challenge the decision to deport them. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, should ensure that her officials do not appeal against the ruling.

A judge confirmed the common sense view yesterday that it offends against natural justice to detain asylum-seekers in the night and then bundle them on to a plane without even giving them the chance to telephone their solicitor – as happened recently to an Eritrean teenager, taken from her home at 4am and flown immediately to Italy, who was able to contact her British solicitor only after she landed in Rome. Such precipitate action raises serious questions about the constitutional right of access to justice.

Originally, individuals facing deportation were given 72 hours' notice of their impending removal. But the authorities have been making increasing use of a change in the law made in 2007 to allow exceptions to the general rule. In the first year only 24 such "exceptions" were made, but last year the figure multiplied sixfold. The practice of immigration officers swooping late at night, and escorting distressed people on to planes which leave only a few hours later, is growing.

The Government's argument is that individuals with no right to be in the UK should be removed as quickly as possible. But the targets of the "exceptions policy" have not just been individuals who need to be removed swiftly "to maintain order and discipline" at a detention centre. It has also been particularly used on vulnerable individuals including those at risk of suicide or self-harm and also children who have arrived in Britain unaccompanied and who are deemed most likely to abscond if they are not removed immediately. There is a callous disregard for the fact that asylum-seekers in these vulnerable categories are the very individuals most likely to face problems in the place to which they are deported.

Policies like this, along with the practice of detaining children in immigration centres, are perhaps the most dishonourable legacy of the departed Labour government. Nick Clegg recently announced an end to the shameful business of detaining children. Ms May should now announce that the coalition Government will not be challenging this ruling against the clear injustice of fast-track deportation.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Fabric Inspector

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Fabric Inspector is required to join an awar...

Recruitment Genius: Facilities & Project Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Facilities & Project Manager ...

Recruitment Genius: Software Testing Manager

£30000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Coordinator

£17600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum cares for one of the largest...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A young person in the UK is now twice as likely to be poor as a pensioner  

Britain is no country for the young – in jobs, income or housing

Ben Chu
LaGuardia Airport: a relic from a different, gentler age  

New York's LaGuardia Airport to be rebuilt: It could become the best gateway to America

Simon Calder
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash