Judicial reviews and injunctions are used as a remedy in order to deal with specific problems faced by those subject to immigration control and are essential tools used frequently by our firm.
Judicial review is a civil procedure conducted by a branch of the High Court known as the Administrative Court and is used to challenge decisions made by the immigration authorities when there is no other way. For example, where there is no right of appeal against a decision but there are grounds for challenge on the basis that the decision was unlawful for being perverse, irrational or incompatible with human rights. The Court also has the power to issue injunctions preventing the immigration authorities from carrying out the decision while under challenge. For example, an injunction may be obtained to prevent a person being removed from the UK while a decision to remove is subject to challenge.
There are many circumstances in which we use judicial review procedures in immigration cases. By way of examples, we can challenge “certificates” issued by the Secretary of State which effectively either limit or deny a person their right of appeal, the refusal by the Home Office to accept a fresh claim, negative decisions where there is no right of appeal because at the time of the application the person did not have any leave, unlawful detention, unlawful removals to a safe “third country”, nationality decisions and unreasonable delays by the Home Office in taking administrative steps. We regularly undertake urgent cases where removal from the UK is imminent.
If a claim for judicial review is successful, the court is likely to “quash” the decision or “declare” it to be unlawful requiring the Secretary of State to review the matter in accordance with the legal findings of the Court.
Public funding for advice and representation is available to those who do not have the means to pay and whose cases have a good enough chance of succeeding. Our contract with the Legal Services Commission allows us to exercise devolved powers to grant funding in urgent cases. However, it is important to note that claimants who lose judicial review proceedings may be ordered to pay the legal costs of the other side as well as their own. It is therefore imperative to seek proper legal advice from the outset.