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REFUGEES CAN SEEK FOR DAMAGES FOR UNLAWFUL DETENTION

Team SoOLEGAL 20 Mar 2020 11:19am

REFUGEES CAN SEEK FOR DAMAGES FOR UNLAWFUL DETENTION

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom delivered a judgment enabling a refugee's petition to sue the government for damages for wrongful detention.

"I would allow the appeal and confirm that the appellant is entitled to pursue a claim for damages for false imprisonment”, Lord Carnwath, in the unanimous judgment of five-judge bench.

The appellant is a Rwandan national who came to UK to obtain refugee status as he was feared of persecution if he returns to his native land. His argument was acknowledged because he was part of the social community known as HUTU.

The Hutu is a social community native to Africa's African Great Lakes region, an area mainly located in Burundi and Rwanda. In compliance with the 1951 Refugee Convention, the claimant was recognised as a refugee and given indefinite leave to remain. The Home Secretary agreed to deport him on completion of his custodial sentence for multiple offences under Section 72(4) (a) of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. As for the wrongful arrest, he also sought damages and declaratory relief.

Article 33(2) of the Refugee Convention, 1951 allows for the removal of refugees for which there are fair grounds to consider as a threat to security. The Secretary of State subsequently signed the deportation order. It was found that no argument was made on behalf of the appellant that the order was unconstitutional prior to the signing of the deportation order.

Eventually, it was found that the detention order of the appellant was unconstitutional and, thus, the State Secretary was urged to revoke the deportation order. The claimant was subsequently released by order of immigration judge on bail.

The court observed that if there is an appeal against the Secretary of State's notice in issuing deportation orders, the same should not be extended to the second level, i.e. the making of the deportation order. This was held in the case of R (Draga) v. Home Department Secretary of State [1984] AC 74, 122.



Tagged: Supreme Court   United Kingdom   Asylum Act 2002   Refugee Convention  
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