Immigration Bail Hearings
The Campaign to Close Campsfield has published a report on immigration bail hearings based on observations made at 115 court proceedings during the period December 2009 and July 2010. It notes that having legal representation at these hearings significantly improves the chance of bail being granted.
Amongst the hearings observed, 75 had lawyers arguing the case, resulting in 28 applicants being granted bail – or 37%. Of the 40% without lawyers only 5 were granted bail – just 12.5%.
There are also substantial differences in the way proceedings are conducted by judges. A significant number of judges accept UKBA bail summaries without question despite official guidance which requires that they scrutinise the claims made by officials with a critical eye, particularly when the applicant has no legal representation.
Disturbing evidence was also found of judges failing to follow other guidance, in relation to mentally ill applicants and victims of torture.
The report concludes with a series of recommendation which cover the independence of judges, entitlement to legal representation, the use of the bail summary, video-link hearing, and other points.
If you or someone that you know is in immigration detention, call us urgently on 020 8401 7352.