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Individuals who have been unlawfully detained in immigration centres in the UK can seek compensation from the Home Office for unlawful immigration detention.

At Moeen & Co. Solicitors, our team of immigration solicitors in London can help you with your unlawful immigration detention claim and provide legal advice on your legal rights and the various remedies available for unlawful detention.

To make an unlawful immigration detention claim, contact our immigration solicitors in Hayes, London at 0203 959 7755 or send an email to: info@moeenco.com.

Table of Contents

  1. What is an immigration detention?
  2. What is the unlawful immigration detention?
  3. How to claim compensation for unlawful detention?
  4. How long does an unlawful detention claim take to settle?
  5. Basic legal principles on unlawful immigration detention
  6. What are the Hardial Singh principles on immigration detention?
  7. What is the time limit for making an unlawful immigration detention claim?
  8. How much compensation can you expect?
  9. Immigration solicitors for unlawful detention claim
  10. Contact us
  11. FAQs: Unlawful immigration detention claim

What is an immigration detention?

Immigration detention refers to an administrative process of detaining individuals (non-British) by the Home Office for breaching immigration laws.

The Home Office can also detain someone for various other reasons including pending immigration decisions, deportation proceedings, or to prevent unauthorised entry.

What is the unlawful immigration detention?

Unlawful immigration detention means individuals are detained by the Home Office without sufficient legal basis or in violation of their basic human rights.

The Home Office must follow certain procedures and rules when detaining individuals for immigration purposes. Failure to adhere to these processes, such as not regularly reviewing the necessity of continued detention, can make the detention unlawful.

How to claim compensation for unlawful detention?

Claiming compensation for unlawful immigration detention typically involves legal proceedings, often through judicial review where individuals challenge the lawfulness of their detention in court.

If successful, the court may award compensation for the period of unlawful detention and any associated damages.

Seeking compensation for unlawful immigration detention involves several key steps:

  • Seek legal advice from immigration detention solicitors
  • Collecting evidence to support your claim
  • Judicial Review proceedings
  • Compensation award

Seek legal advice from immigration detention solicitors

The first step is to expert legal advice from an experienced solicitor who specialises in human rights and immigration law. At Moeen & Co. Solicitors, our team of immigration solicitors will assess your case, determine if your detention was unlawful, and advise you on the best course of action.

Collecting evidence to support your claim

It is important to gather any relevant documents, such as detention records, medical reports, or witness statements, to strengthen your case. Our immigration solicitor will advise you about supporting documents.

Judicial Review proceedings

If you believe you were unlawfully detained, our solicitor can help you initiate judicial review proceedings against the Home Office. Judicial review is a legal process where a court reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by the Home Office.

The court will then consider your case and decide whether your detention was lawful or not.

Compensation award

If the court finds that your detention was unlawful, it may award you compensation for the period of unlawful detention, as well as any associated damages, such as loss of earnings, medical expenses, and emotional distress.

How long does an unlawful detention claim take to settle?

Compensation claim for unlawful immigration detention takes 3-4 months to settle. However, it may take longer depending on the complexity of the case.

Basic legal principles guide cases of unlawful immigration detention, ensuring that individuals are treated fairly and their rights are protected. These principles include the right to be free from arbitrary detention, the right to access legal representation, and the right to challenge detention decisions through fair and impartial legal processes.

One key set of principles that particularly applies to immigration detention cases in the UK is the Hardial Singh principles. These principles originated from a landmark legal case (R (Hardial Singh) v. Governor of Durham Prison) and have since been widely referenced and applied. The Hardial Singh principles establish that immigration authorities must act with reasonable diligence and expedition in pursuing the purpose of detention and that detention should not be maintained longer than is reasonably necessary.

What are the Hardial Singh principles on immigration detention?

The Hardial Singh principles, derived from a landmark court case, set out the guidelines for the lawful exercise of immigration detention powers. The principles state that detention must be for a reasonable period, only for the purpose of effecting deportation, and must be reviewed regularly to determine if it remains lawful and necessary.

The common law limits the Secretary of State’s exercise of powers of detention. Those limits were set out by Woolf J (as he then was) in R v Durham Prison Governor ex parte Hardial Singh [1984] 1 WLR 704 ("the four Hardial Singh principles"):

"First of all, it [the 1971 Act] can only authorise detention if the individual is being detained in one case pending the making of a deportation order, in the other, pending his removal. It cannot be used for any other purpose. Secondly, as the power is given in order to enable the machinery of the deportation to be carried out, I regard the power of detention as being impliedly limited to a period which is reasonably necessary for that purpose. What is more, if there is a situation where it is apparent to the Secretary of State that he is not going to be able to operate the machinery provided in the Act for removing persons who are intended to be deported within a reasonable period, it seems to be that it would be wrong for the Secretary of State to seek to exercise its powers of detention."

The Hardial Singh principles were unanimously endorsed in the landmark judgment of R (Walumba Lumba and Kadian Mighty) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 12, which reiterated at paragraph [22] the correctness of R (on the application of I) v Secretary of State [2002] EWCA Civ 888, in which Dyson LJ said at  paragraph [46]:

  1. The SSHD must intend to deport the person and can only use the power to detain for that purpose;
  2. The deportee may only be detained for the period that is reasonable in all the circumstances;
  3. If, before the expiry of a reasonable period, it becomes apparent that the SSHD will not be able to effect deportation within that reasonable period, [s]he should not seek to exercise the power of detention;
  4. The Secretary of State should act with reasonable diligence and expedition to effect removal.

Dyson LJ continued at paragraph [48] of I:

“It is not possible or desirable to produce an exhaustive list of all circumstances that are or may be relevant to the question of how long it is reasonable for the Secretary
of State to detain a person pending deportation pursuant to paragraph 2(3) of Schedule 3 to the Immigration Act 1971. But in my view they include at least:

  • the length of the period of detention;
  • the nature of the obstacles which stand in the path of the Secretary of State preventing deportation;
  • the diligence, speed and effectiveness of the steps taken by the Secretary of State to surmount such obstacles;
  • the conditions in which the detained person is being kept;
  • the effect of detention on him and his family;
  • the risk that if he is released from detention he will abscond; and
  • the danger that, if released, he will commit criminal offences.”

The four Hardial Singh principles were neatly summarised by Michael Fordham QC (sitting as Deputy High Court Judge) in R(Muhammad) v SSHD [2017] EWHC 745 (Admin) as:

  1. the purpose principle;
  2. the duration principle;
  3. the removability principle; and
  4. the diligence principle.

What is the time limit for making an unlawful immigration detention claim?

The time limit for making a compensation claim against the Home Office for unlawful detention is usually six years from the date of release from detention.

However, it is advisable to consult an experienced immigration detention solicitor as soon as possible to ensure compliance with any specific time limits or deadlines that may apply in your case.

How much compensation can you expect?

When assessing the compensation amount for unlawful immigration detention, several factors are taken into account. These factors include:

  • The duration of the detention period
  • The conditions experienced during the detention
  • The impact on physical and mental well-being
  • The loss of earnings or career opportunities
  • Any additional expenses incurred due to the unlawful detention

By considering these factors, we can accurately assess the compensation amount that reflects the harm and losses suffered as a result of the unlawful detention.

Immigration solicitors for unlawful detention claim

Engaging the services of experienced immigration solicitors is important when pursuing compensation for unlawful immigration detention.

At Moeen & Co. Solicitors, we understand the complexities of the immigration detention compensation process and the importance of having expert legal representation by your side. Our experienced team of detention compensation solicitors is here to guide you through every step of the way, ensuring that your rights are protected, and you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today at 0203 959 7755 to schedule a consultation and discuss your case with our expert detention compensation solicitors. Together, we will navigate the immigration detention compensation process, ensuring that your rights are upheld and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact us

Call our immigration solicitor at 0203 959 7755 to take the first step towards securing the compensation you deserve for your unlawful immigration detention.

There are several ways to contact our team of immigration solicitors based in Hayes, London:

We are located near Hayes and Harlington Station on Hayes High Street, in Hayes Town Centre. 

FAQs: Unlawful immigration detention claim

To claim compensation for unlawful detention, you should consult a solicitor specialising in immigration detention compensation.

Contact Moeen & Co. Solicitors today, our immigration solicitors will guide you through the process, including gathering evidence, filing a claim, and representing you in negotiations or legal proceedings.

Yes, there is a time limit for filing a compensation claim for unlawful detention. In most cases, the claim must be filed within six years from the date of release from detention.

Immigration detention can have a great impact on detainees. It can cause significant psychological and emotional harm, leading to anxiety and depression. Detainees may also experience a loss of dignity, disruption of family life, and financial hardship due to loss of earnings or other expenses incurred as a result of the detention.

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