Court of Appeal ruling prevents Jamaica deportations

Detention Action Press Release
Monday 10 February 2020
London – for immediate release

The Court of Appeal has ruled on Detention Action’s legal challenge over the removal to Jamaica of individuals detained in the Heathrow immigration detention centres who have not been allowed proper access to legal advice.

The Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Simler ruled that no one can be removed on the charter flight to Jamaica scheduled for tomorrow morning (Tuesday 11 February 2020) unless they have had access to a working non-O2 SIM card since 3 February.

Bella Sankey, Director of Detention Action, said: “We are delighted with this landmark decision which is a victory for access to justice, fairness and the rule of law. On the basis of this order from our Court of Appeal we do not believe that anyone currently detained at the Heathrow detention centres can be removed on tomorrow’s flight. We understand that this will apply to at least 56 people.”

Toufique Hossain, director of public law at Duncan Lewis, said: “For weeks now detainees’ complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Their removal looms large, hours away and yet again it takes judicial intervention to make the home office take basic, humane and fair steps to allow people to enjoy their constitutional right to access justice.”

The full judgement can be found here.


For media enquiries please contact:

Matthew Leidecker, Campaigns Manager
Bella Sankey, Director
07967 552821

Spokespeople are available for broadcast interview.

Notes to editors:

1. Detention Action is a national charity established in 1993 that seeks to defend the rights and improve the welfare of people in immigration detention by combining support for individuals with campaigning for policy change. Detention Action works in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook IRCs near Heathrow Airport in London, Morton Hall IRC in Lincolnshire, and with people held under immigration powers in London prisons. We work with around 1000 individuals held in detention each year.
2. Detention Action is represented by Duncan Lewis Solicitors, and Jessica Jones and Chris Buttler of Matrix Chambers.