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 had then been detained was too long and that the detention had become unlawful, and he sought habeas corpus to secure release.
Held: The detention was on the borderline of being unlawful, and unless an order was made within a few days, Mr Singh’s application should succeed. A short adjournment was granted on this basis.
The power of the Secretary of State was subject to limitation to a period which is reasonably necessary for that purpose, depending on the circumstances of the particular case. If it is apparent to the Secretary of State that he is not going to be able to remove someone intended to be deported within a reasonable period, it would be wrong for the Secretary of State to seek to exercise his power of detention.
In relation to the power of deportation, Woolf J said: ‘Although the power which is given to the Secretary of State in paragraph 2 to detain individuals is not subject to any express limitation of time, I am quite satisfied that it is subject to limitations. First of all, it can only authorise detention if the individual is being detained . . pending his removal. It cannot be used for any other purpose. Secondly, as the power is given in order to enable the machinery of 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. The period which is reasonable will depend upon the circumstances of the particular case. 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 me that it would be wrong for the Secretary of State to seek to exercise his power of detention.
In addition, I would regard it as implicit that the Secretary of State should exercise all reasonable expedition to ensure that the steps are taken which will be necessary to ensure the removal of the individual within a reasonable time.’
 1 WLR 704,  EWHC 1 (QB),  Imm AR 198,  1 All ER 983
Immigration Act 1971 Sch 3 Para 2
England and Wales
Cited – Regina v Governor of Richmond Remand Centre, Ex Parte Asghar QBD 1971
The Secretary of State had detained two persons who were awaiting removal with the object that they should testify in a pending criminal trial. Lord Parker J rejected the suggestion that the detention could be justified as reasonable in these . .
Cited – In re Sital Singh QBD 8-Jul-1975
Mtr Singh was suspected to be an illegal immigrant. The Secretary of State had authorized his removal on 24 April 1975. The matter came before the court on 8 July 1975. The applicant had been in custody since 17 March, three and a half months prior . .
Cited – I, 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 . .
Cited – Secretary of State for the Home Department v Regina on the Application of Khadir CA 3-Apr-2003
The Secretary of State appealed an order requiring him to reconsider refusal of exceptional leave to remain. The applicant was an Iraqi Kurd. It was not possible to make immediate arrangements for repatriation after the order.
Held: The . .
Approved – Tan Te Lam v Superintendent of Tai A Chau Detention Centre PC 27-Mar-1996
(Hong Kong) Migrants from Vietnam of Chinese ethnic origin had landed in Hong Kong by boat, and been refused refugee status. They were detained for several years under section 13D of the Immigration Ordinance ‘pending . . removal from Hong Kong’. . .
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex parte Saadi and others HL 31-Oct-2002
The applicants were Kurdish asylum seekers. The Home Secretary introduced powers to detain certain asylum seekers for a short period in order to facilitate the speedy resolution of their applications. Only those who it was suspected might run away . .
Cited – A 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 . .
Cited – ID and others v The Home Office (BAIL for Immigration Detainees intervening) CA 27-Jan-2005
The claimants sought damages and other reliefs after being wrongfully detained by immigration officers for several days, during which they had been detained at a detention centre and left locked up when it burned down, being released only by other . .
Followed – 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 . .
Cited – Khadir, 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 . .
Cited – Hwez and Khadir v Secretary of State for the Home Departmentand Another Admn 29-Jul-2002
Cited – SK, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 25-Jan-2008
The claimant was a Zimbabwean National who was to be removed from the country. He was unlawfully held in detention pending removal. He sought damages for false imprisonment. He had been held over a long period pending decisions in the courts on the . .
Cited – SK (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 6-Nov-2008
Immigration detention proper after prison release
The Home Secretary appealed against a finding that he had unlawfully detained the applicant. The applicant had been detained on release from prison pending his return to Zimbabwe as recommended by the sentencing judge under section 6 of the 1971 . .
Cited – Rostami, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department QBD 7-Aug-2009
The claimant had been detained for nearly three years while his application for asylum was determined. He sought judicial review, saying that the detention was unlawful. Whilst in detention he had self harmed and said: ‘I will stay in detention for . .
Cited – Saleh, Regina (On the Application of) v Secretary Of State for the Home Department Admn 5-Oct-2009
The claimant challenged his past and continuing detention pending deportation. He had a long series of convictions for dishonesty.
Held: ‘it is indeed disconcerting to find that a non-violent person subject to immigration control has been in . .
Cited – Anam v Secretary of the State for the Home Department Admn 13-Oct-2009
The claimant said that his detention pending deportation was unlawful being in his case in breach of the respondent’s policy of not detaining those with mental health problems. He had committed various offences but was receiving a treatment which . .
Cited – MC (Algeria), Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 31-Mar-2010
The claimant challenged his detention under the 1971 Act, now appealing against refusal of judicial review. His asylum claims had been rejected, and he had been convicted of various offences, including failures to answer bail. He had failed to . .
Cited – Mohamed, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 16-Jun-2003
The claimant challenged his continued detention under the 1971 Act after his appeal to the Immigration Appeal tribunal had been successful. He had been accused of rape, but was convicted of a sexual assault, though still serious. Before being . .
Cited – In re Wasfi Suleman Mahmod Admn 17-Jan-1994
Laws J considered the Hardial Singh principles, adding: ‘While, 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 . .
Cited – MH, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 14-Oct-2010
The claimant complained that his administrative detention for over 40 months had been unlawful. He now appealed against a finding that it had been lawful save for the final two months.
Held: The appeal failed. The period of time for which he . .
Approved – Lumba (WL) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 23-Mar-2011
The claimants had been detained under the 1971 Act, after completing sentences of imprisonment pending their return to their home countries under deportations recommended by the judges at trial, or chosen by the respondent. They challenged as . .
Cited – Abdi and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 19-Dec-2008
The claimants, foreign nationals, had been detained pending deportation after completion of sentences of imprisonment. They challenged the policy that such deportees should be held by default pending deportation.
Held: David J granted . .
Cited – Lumba, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 4-Jul-2008
The failed asylum claimant challenged as unlawful his continued detention pending return to Congo. . .
Cited – Kambadzi (previously referred to as SK (Zimbabwe)) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 25-May-2011
False Imprisonment Damages / Immigration Detention
The respondent had held the claimant in custody, but had failed to follow its own procedures. The claimant appealed against the rejection of his claim of false imprisonment. He had overstayed his immigration leave, and after convictions had served a . .
Cited – Nouazli, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 20-Apr-2016
The court considered the compatibility with EU law of regulations 21 and 24 of the 2006 Regulations, and the legality at common law of the appellant’s administrative detention from 3 April until 6 June 2012 and of bail restrictions thereafter until . .
Cited – O, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 27-Apr-2016
The appellant failed asylum seeker had been detained for three years pending deportation. She suffered a mental illness, and during her detention the medical advice that her condition could be coped with in the detention centre changed, recommending . .
Cited – Hemmati and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 27-Nov-2019
The Home Secretary appealed from a finding that illegally entered asylum seekers had been unlawfully detained pending removal. The five claimants had travelled through other EU member states before entering the UK. The court considered inter alia . .
Cited – B v Secretary of State for The Home Department (Deportation – Hardial Singh – Dismissed) SIAC 29-Jan-2014
Cited – B v The Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 6-May-2015
The appellant was detained under immigration rules. He refused to provide details of his nationality and now complained of his continuing detention in the light of a finding that he was unlikely to be returnable to Algeria, that being what was . .
Cited – B (Algeria) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 8-Feb-2018
Bail conditions only after detention
B had been held under immigration detention, but released by SIAC, purportedly in conditional bail, after they found there was no realistic prospect of his deportation because he had not disclosed his true identity. The court was asked ‘whether . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Immigration, Prisons, Administrative
Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.180466