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Parliamentary enquiry says immigration detention system needs fundamental reform

For far too long, the UK has unquestionably pursued its policies of immigration detention despite the immense human cost it brings. Today, however, a report issued following a Westminster inquiry brings us hope that something will change.

See the report here: The Report of the Inquiry into the Use of Immigration Detention in the United Kingdom - A Joint Inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees & the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration

The inquiry’s panel was cross party  and consisted of members from both houses. The resulting report condemns the UK’s use of immigration detention and calls for radical and immediate change:

Crucially, this panel believes that little will change by tinkering with the pastoral care or improving the facilities. We believe the problems that beset our immigration detention estate occur quite simply because we detain far too many people unnecessarily and for far too long.

The report makes a number of key recommendations including a 28 day time limit on the length of time anyone can be held in immigration detention. Lay readers will perhaps be surprised – and dismayed– to know that immigration detention has no upper time limit in the UK. This was the very point the Law Centre made in our contribution to the inquiry back in Autumn 2014:

The UK stands apart in Europe for its policies on immigration detention: it is unique in that it does not limit the maximum period of detention. Additionally, the UK does not provide automatic judicial scrutiny of detention: the onus is on the individual to apply to a tribunal to have the legality of their detention reviewed. We find the UK’s stance extraordinary and unjustifiable.

See our full response here: Law Centre (NI) response to Parliamentary Enquiry into Immigration Detention. 

The inquiry’s finding is clear: the current system is ‘expensive, ineffective and unjust’. We hope that the government is listening and that it draws a line under the current inhumane practices. 



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