Lack of access to lawyers for immigration detainees being held in prison is unlawful, High Court rules

26 February 2021: Independent: Judge says ministers failing to provide adequate legal advice to people held under immigration powers in jails in breach of law, after man left without lawyer for 10 months and forced to represent himself

The legal aid provision for immigration detainees held in prisons is unlawful, the High Court has ruled, after it emerged a man was unable to access a lawyer for 10 months and had to represent himself.

The claimant challenged the legal aid arrangements for immigration detainees held in prisons on the basis that they are less favourable than those in place for people held in immigration removal centres.

Non-British nationals who are sentenced to jail for longer than 12 months in the UK are liable to be deported, and can be detained under immigration powers at the end of their custodial sentence pending their removal from the country.

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