WANDY SANNEH v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT

Counsel:
For the claimant: Becket Bedford, Tiki Emezie 
For the defendant: Emily Wilsdon

Solicitors:
For the claimant: Dylan Conrad Kreolle 
For the defendant: Government Legal Department

R (on the application of WANDY SANNEH) v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (2018)
[2018] EWHC 800 (Admin)

QBD (Admin) (Michael Kent QC) 13/04/2018

IMMIGRATION

APPEALS : DEPORTATION ORDERS : DETENTION : RIGHT TO RESPECT FOR PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE
A Gambian national’s challenge to the lawfulness of his detention failed except in respect of a period conceded by the secretary of state. The claim was transferred to the County Court for the assessment of damages in respect of the conceded period.
The claimant Gambian national applied for judicial review to challenge the lawfulness of his detention.

The claimant had been served with notice that he was liable to deportation while serving a sentence of imprisonment for breaching a restraining order that prevented him from having contact with his wife. He objected to deportation on the basis that it was contrary to his ECHR art.8 rights because of the presence of his wife and children in the UK. The defendant secretary of state rejected his objection and in December 2014 certified his human rights claim under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 s.94B. The effect of the certificate was that the claimant was not allowed to proceed with an appeal against deportation unless he left the UK. He was detained on 19 August 2016 and served with removal directions. On 9 November 2016 his claim for asylum was refused and certified as clearly unfounded pursuant to s.94 of the Act. His fresh asylum and human rights claim was also refused. He began judicial review proceedings in the Upper Tribunal challenging the certification under s.94B. The UT concluded that the secretary of state had been entitled to certify under s.94 both the asylum and human rights claim based on art.8. The s.94B certification was withdrawn following the Supreme Court’s decision in R. (on the application of Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 42. The claimant was then able to proceed with an in-country appeal, which had the effect of suspending his removal. He remained in detention. On 9 August 2017 he started the instant claim for judicial review and applied for bail. He was refused bail on several occasions. On the last occasion bail was refused on the basis that there wasn’t a suitable address to which he could be bailed. The claimant offered an alternative address of a family friend. The friend was spoken to on 23 January 2018. A release referral was drafted, but it was not acted upon until 20 February 2018. The secretary of state conceded that the delay in arranging for the claimant’s release from detention on bail between 24 January and 21 February was unjustified and rendered the detention during that period unlawful. She also conceded that in respect of that period of unlawful detention, the claimant would be entitled to substantial and not merely nominal damages. The secretary of state resisted the contention that the detention was unlawful at any time before 24 January 2018. The parties agreed that the assessment of damages due for the period of admitted unlawful detention and the assessment of any substantial damages in respect of any earlier period of detention that was found to be unlawful should be carried out by a judge in the County Court to which the claim could be transferred in the event that the parties could not agree a sum.

The claimant submitted that his detention from 19 August 2016 to 24 February 2018 was unlawful because of a wrongly issued s.94B certificate.

HELD: Effect of s.94B certificate – The court’s task was to decide whether, at any earlier time before 24 January, the detention became unlawful. The secretary of state could not argue in light of the clarification given in Byndloss, that the s.94B certificate in the claimant’s case was lawfully given in December 2014, Byndloss applied. It did not follow that that remained the position after 9 November 2016 when the case was certified under s.94. From then on the ingredient of an arguable appeal was lacking and in the circumstances the certificate under s.94B remaining in place was not unlawful. The proper analysis was that the s.94 certificate impliedly cancelled the December 2014 certificate under s.94B. Either way, the claimant was then liable to be removed from the UK before his statutory appeal was instituted and the rejection of the challenge to its lawfulness by the UT on the ground that the secretary of state was entitled to treat his art.8 claim as clearly unfounded meant that the restrictions on the exercise of the power to grant a certificate under s.94B identified in Byndloss were not in play. The most that the claimant was entitled to was a finding that between 19 August and 9 November 2016 there was in place a certificate purportedly given under s.94B that should not have been given (see para.58 of judgment).

Conclusion – The claim failed except in the respect conceded by the secretary of state. It would be transferred to the County Court for the assessment of damages for the period of detention between 24 January and 21 February 2018 (para.104).

Application refused

Counsel:
For the claimant: Becket Bedford, Tiki Emezie
For the defendant: Emily Wilsdon

Solicitors:
For the claimant: Dylan Conrad Kreolle
For the defendant: Government Legal Department

LTL 13/4/2018

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