Christmas and New Years

Seraphus wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope that you all have a wonderful 2012. We’ll see you there!


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The photograph is from our good friend suphakit73.

English Language Requirement for Family Members

The legal challenge against the English language requirement supported by Liberty and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in the case of R(Chapti) v SSHD [2011] EWHC 3370 (Admin) 16 December 2011 failed.

Permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal was granted. The court however did decide that Article 8 (family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights will always be engaged in cases involving the refusal of entry clearance/leave to remain applications involving spouses. Also, it may be arguable that the English language requirement would be a disproportionate interference in that Article 8 protection but it will depend on the individual facts of each case.

More when we have it.

Campaign to end detention of refugee and asylum-seeking children

A campaign to urge States to pledge to end the detention of refugee and asylum-seeking children took place during a Ministerial meeting of UN Member States 7 – 8 December. Those involved in the campaign includes 50 NGOs including ECRE Members, national Amnesty International sections and IDC Members in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Poland.

Unsurprisingly, the UK government does not support the campaign.

All those that do firmly believe that children, and in particular unaccompanied or separated children, should never be detained solely for immigration purposes given that immigration detention cannot be said to be in their best interests.

The campaign continues.

Lindholme Immigration Removal Centre Closure

Lindholme IRC, located approximately 10 miles north of Doncaster, is part of Lindholme Prison and is run by the Prison Service. The UK Border Agency leased the centre in 2000 in order to detain adult males over the age of 21. Following a request by the Prison Service for the UK Border Agency return Lindholme IRC back to them a managed reduction in the numbers of detainees will take place during a wind-down of the centre. The aim is to close the centre by 31 January 2012.

Detainees will not be released, but will instead be transferred to other centres.

Justice Hale on the Legal Aid Cuts

Brenda Hale, Justice of the Supreme Court of the UK, gave a opening speech at the Law Centres Federation Annual Conference 2011 which she used as platform to advise against the upcoming legal aid cuts.

She explained that the adversarial legal system that we have relies on the parties to the proceedings to present and prepare their own case. She highlighted the constitutional principle of access to justice and that legal aid is service which the state owes to its citizens as a matter of principle.

There was also the false economy argument, in that by continuing to provide legal aid allows a little advice to solve an individual’s problem(s) at the earliest opportunity without the need for court intervention. A few letters and a bit of advice can also save the government potentially more money than they are trying to save with the legal aid cuts as it avoids further issues developing. For example, a person with employment issues, if left unresolved, would then have housing and debt issues. By solving the employment issues it prevents those secondary issues developing.

The government accepts that the cuts will have a disproportionate impact upon women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities - therefore they accept that it will hit the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

This is just a brief summary of Justice Hale’s speech. As I have no why given her speech the justice it deserves click here to read it in full.