Briefing – Threats to Judicial Scrutiny in the Illegal Migration Bill
Suella Braverman’s “Illegal Migration Bill” poses many threats to people seeking asylum and refuge in the United Kingdom. One of the more disturbing components is the Bill’s potential to decimate access to judicial scrutiny, which has the unique power to challenge unlawful and unnecessary detention.
Historically, people who are deprived of their liberty by the Secretary of State have had their right to a review of this detention protected by the Hardial Singh principles. The Hardial Singh principles serve as the most important limitation on the Home Office’s power to detain.
Suella Braverman’s “Illegal Migration Bill” will undermine the key protections established by Hardial Singh without providing an alternative. It gives unprecedented power to the Home Secretary to establish the “reasonableness” of detention, a power that has historically belonged to the courts. All the while, the Bill removes critical safeguards preventing the misuse of such power.
We are calling on peers to protect judicial oversight, and in doing so, protect a critical check on the Home Office’s powers of detention.