UK Immigration Courts: Observations from the Public Gallery

The Old Bailey, crown courts, magistrates courts — we’ve all heard of them, have probably read court reports, may even have attended them in person. But immigration courts? This is where decisions made by the government (the UK Border Agency) in immigration matters — including the administrative detention of some 25,000 people every year without time limit, without criminal charge or proper explanation — can be challenged.

A bail application to an immigration court is generally the most accessible way for detainees to seek their release from detention centres such as Campsfield, Yarl’s Wood, Harmondsworth, Colnbrook andBrook House, places where detainees — including torture survivors — routinely suffer from mental illness (some detainees’ stories here). Continue reading “UK Immigration Courts: Observations from the Public Gallery”