Court of Appeal refuses to suspend Detained Fast Track

The Court of Appeal has today refused Detention Action’s appeal against the failure of the High Court to grant the relief sought in July 2014, following Justice Ouseley’s judgment that the Detained Fast Track (DFT) had been operating unlawfully.

Detention Action had sought a suspension of the DFT process until the Home Office had taken the necessary steps to address the unacceptable risk of unfairness identified by the High Court.

However, Lord Justice Longmore, giving the Court of Appeal Judgment, ruled that the High Court had discretion to give the order allowing the DFT to continue.  This took into account the steps that the Home Office were taking to address the unlawfulness, which included giving asylum-seekers four days before their asylum interview with which to consult their lawyers, and reconsidering the cases of some of those who had already gone through the DFT process.

Detention Action Director Jerome Phelps said “We are disappointed that the Court of Appeal has followed the High Court in refusing to halt the DFT, despite the finding that it was operating unlawfully.  However, it is significant that neither court has found that the Home Office has addressed this unlawfulness.”

The second part of Detention Action’s appeal, on the lawfulness of detaining asylum-seekers for their appeals to be heard on the DFT, will be heard in the Court of Appeal on 29 October 2014.