Immigration Detention

The focus of our work is holding those in power to account and obtaining redress for those who are detained wrongly or in very poor conditions.

We work with people held in immigration detention to challenge their treatment and the standards applied to justify their detention. We often act in urgent judicial reviews to seek immediate redress, including release.  We also can act in individual cases seeking to obtain compensation when detention has been unlawful. We are proud to work alongside sister organisations, both in the United Kingdom and around the world, in enforcing the rights of those subject to immigration laws and detention.

As well as our work on individual compensation claims, our cases have included:

  • Working with the unaccompanied children in Calais and mainland Europe to secure resettlement with their families in the UK (2016 - present)
  • Successfully challenging the definition of torture in government immigration policy (Medical Justice v Home Secretary, 2017)
  • Acting for interveners in seeking to obtain guidance on the detention of people with serious mental illness (Das v Home Secretary, 2014)
  • Establishing in a series of cases that the conditions of immigration detention breached Article 3 ECHR
  • Acting in strategic challenges to the detention and use of force on pregnant women and families
  • Acting for the family of Jimmy Mubenga at the inquest which found that he was unlawfully killed during a forcible deportation

We advise on pursuing matters to the European Court of Human Rights when remedies in the UK have been exhausted.

Please note: we do not give immigration advice or assist detainees in bail applications before the immigration courts, but organisations such as Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) may be able to assist in a bail application.


Our Immigration Detention specialists

Mark Scott, Hamish Arnott, Shamik DuttaJanet Farrell, Jed Pennington , Sophie Naftalin and Jane Ryan work with those who have been detained, unlawfully deported and suffered mistreatment whilst subject to immigration controls.  

  • Immigration Detention
Photo Sarah Booker

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Chambers and Partners 2018