Re Wasfi Suleman Mahmod: Admn 1995

The applicant was an Iraqi who had been granted asylum in Germany. On entering England as a visitor he was found in possession of opium and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with a recommendation for deportation. He was served with a deportation order during the term of his imprisonment and detained under paragraph 2(3) from the date when otherwise he would have been released. The Home Office made unsuccessful efforts to persuade the German authorities to take him back.
Held: ‘Whilst, of course, Parliament is entitled to confer powers of administrative detention without trial, the courts will see to it that where such a power is conferred the statute that confers it will be strictly and narrowly construed and its operation and effect will be supervised by the court according to high standards. In this case I regard it as entirely unacceptable that this man should have been detained for the length of time he has while nothing but fruitless negotiations have been carried on.’ The court was ‘entirely satisfied’ that whatever would have been ‘a reasonable period for this man’s continued detention . . . has certainly now been exceeded’ and ordered his immediate release by habeas corpus.


Laws J


[1995] Imm AR 311


England and Wales


FollowedRegina v Governor of Durham Prison, ex parte Hardial Singh QBD 13-Dec-1983
Unlawful Detention pending Deportation
An offender had been recommended for deportation following conviction. He had served his sentence and would otherwise have been released on parole. He had no passport and no valid travel documents. He complained that the length of time for which he . .

Cited by:

CitedI, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 28-Jun-2002
The appellant obtained asylum but was convicted of offences after entering, and ordered to be deported. Whilst serving his sentence the deportation order was served, but he was not released on licence at the time he would normally have been . .
CitedA v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and X v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Dec-2004
The applicants had been imprisoned and held without trial, being suspected of international terrorism. No criminal charges were intended to be brought. They were foreigners and free to return home if they wished, but feared for their lives if they . .
CitedKhadir, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Jun-2005
The applicant who had entered England hidden in a lorry, claimed asylum, and had his claim rejected. It was said that as an Iraqi Kurd, he would be safe in the Kurdish area of Iraq. No safe means had been found of ensuring his return over some four . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 08 July 2022; Ref: scu.180036