Current Affairs

High Court finds Detained Fast Track asylum system unlawful

Joseph McCormick July 9, 2014
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The High Court has made a landmark ruling that the operation of the Detained Fast Track (DFT) asylum system is unlawful.

Human rights groups, MPs and lawyers have frequently documented alleged cases of the Home Office deporting LGBT asylum seekers back to countries such as Uganda where they face violence.

The claims have always been denied by the Home Office.

The Detention Action organisation had challenged the use of DFT, arguing that it is fundamentally an unfair process, and that many asylum seekers with strong claims for protection are sent back to face human rights violations, including LGBT asylum seekers.

Mr Justice Ouseley, giving judgement, found that “the DFT as operated carries an unacceptably high risk of unfairness.”

Detention Action argued that those at risk, such as LGBT people in countries where being gay is illegal, were not suitable for DFT, but were not being identified.

The organisation’s Director Jerome Phelps said: “We are delighted that the High Court has recognised that asylum-seekers are being detained in an unlawful process. It is unfortunate that the government has spent years ignoring such warnings from UN and independent monitoring bodies. This is good news for people in detention facing return to torture, but it is also good news for British justice.”

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Barker called on the government to condemn and stop the “shockingly degrading” treatment of LGBT asylum seekers by Home Office caseworkers, following publication of a leaked report in February.

The report showed LGBT asylum seekers continue to face abusive, degrading “interrogations” about their sex lives.

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