It is important that MPs are informed and encouraged to support Lord Ramsbotham’s amendment (Amendment 84), which provides far greater scrutiny over the Home Office’s power to detain than the Government has been willing to agree to so far.
After the Government has had to back down on the Dubs amendment, they are unlikely to want to face another defeat. Therefore, it is crucial that we apply as much pressure as possible on the Government to hammer in the message that we need a radical reform of detention, not a meaningless gesture just to appease us.
The Government has already tried to water down the Ramsbotham amendment, by offering their own amendment, which would implement automatic bail hearings for those who have not applied for bail for six months. The Lords voted down the Government amendment and sent back the Ramsbotham amendment to the Commons, reasoning that this is unsatisfactory. Continue reading “For the 9th May, the Detention Forum is focussing on judicial oversight amendment”
UPDATE 6 May 2016: A big thank you to everyone who has been lobbying MPs to support the Lord Ramsbotham amendment – we are now seeing its impact. The Government is feeling the pressure of the enormous disquiet from MPs, the House of Lords and the campaigners and has now published a ‘compromise’ amendment to the controversial judicial oversight clause that can leaves people in administrative incarceration for six months with not judicial oversight at all.
The new amendment, published late last night, reduces the length of time before automatic bail hearings of people in detention take place from six months of detention to four months of detention.
However, this ‘compromise’ amendment does nothing to address the serious misgivings highlighted in our briefing paper, in particular, the key thrust of both the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Use of Immigration Detention and the Shaw Review that the UK detains far too many people far too long and that the UK must immediately stop the practice of using detention as a norm rather than as an exception.
So please continue to lobby your MPs not to accept this ‘compromise’ amendment and instead to support the Ramsbotham amendment, as explained below. This is not the same as a time limit on detention we would like to see as a first step in meaningful detention reform project, but we need to get all we can get from this Immigration Bill. Thank you. Continue reading “All eyes on detention again – the Immigration Bill returns to the Commons on 9th May”