Successful challenge to the lawfulness of the Detained Fast Track

The Migrants' Law Project and Detention Action have successfully challenged the lawfulness of the government's Detained Fast Track system in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. In response to judgments from both courts in June 2015, the government has temporarily suspended the fast track procedures.

Under the Detained Fast Track system, asylum seekers are given just seven working days to appeal a negative asylum decision and are held in detention while their appeals are being heard. In that time they will need to find a solicitor and gather the evidence they need for their appeal. At least 4286 asylum seekers were detained under the system in 2013. Many of those caught up in the system are vulnerable young migrants from countries such as Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

With support from the Strategic Legal Fund, Migrants' Law Project (representing Detention Action) successfully challenged the Detained Fast Track system in the High Court, which ruled in early June that the system contained 'structural unfairness.' However, the High Court rejected an order that the system be suspended whilst the Home Office appealed the ruling. An appeal was then made to the Court of Appeal who upheld the High Court's decision, but went further and ordered an immediate halt to the Detained Fast Track system.

This latest ruling means that it will now be very difficult for Home Office to detain asylum seekers whilst their asylum appeals are being heard. Minister of State for Immigration James Brokenshire announced the suspension of Detained Fast Track system on 2 July 2015.


If you have any queries about the Strategic Legal Fund, please contact or call 0207 251 8383.

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