The President of the First Tier Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber has directed that all Fast Track asylum appeals be suspended until 5 January 2015 at the earliest.
The suspension follows Detention Action’s urgent letter before claim, asking for an immediate suspension of the Fast Track Rules in the light of last week’s ruling in the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal found that the detention of asylum seekers who are not at risk of absconding whilst their appeals are pending is unlawful
Asylum-seekers with appeals yesterday were told that their appeals were postponed, and given new dates in January. It is anticipated that the President of the Tribunal will make a decision by 5 January on whether to continue the suspension. The Home Office has begun to release asylum-seekers with pending appeals who they do not consider at risk of absconding.
Ali is currently on the Detained Fast Track in Harmondsworth having had his initial claim refused. He has been told his appeal has been postponed. Ali has never absconded before, has always collaborated with the Home Office, has never missed a signing-in and is working with his solicitor to organise his release. Speaking to us this morning, Ali said:
“It was amazing to be told in court that the Fast-Track had been ruled as unlawful and that the Home Office needs a new policy for asylum seekers. Everyone here is very excited. This decision gives me hope. You always hear about the good justice system in the UK but the Home Office is different. When you deal with them, you are dealing with something different, something outside of the law. We hope this decision means an end to this. It is about time someone holds the Home Office to account. The Detained Fast Track is a disgrace to this country.”