UK asylum seekers may have been detained unlawfully, rules court

6.10.2018 Guardian: UK asylum seekers may have been detained unlawfully, rules court

Detainees cannot be held indefinitely before transfer overseas, says court of appeal

Thousands of people may have been unlawfully held in immigration removal centres in recent years, the court of appeal has ruled.

In a test case brought by five asylum seekers who were challenging the provisions of the Dublin III regulations, the appeal court judges ruled that the detained people could not be held indefinitely.

Under Dublin III, asylum seekers must claim asylum in the first safe country they arrive in. If they arrive in the UK and claim asylum and the Home Office discovers that they have passed through another safe country first, the Home Office can send them back to that country.

There is no time limit on immigration detention in the UK. However, senior judges have ruled that the Home Office unlawfully held many asylum seekers who passed through a safe country before reaching the UK.

While discussions between the Home Office and the other European country take place, the asylum seekers may be locked up indefinitely. It is this practice that has been ruled unlawful…