The Society’s Immigration and Asylum Law sub-committee responded to the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry on immigration detention. In its response to the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review recommendation that the UK stop the practice of arresting migrants for unspecified periods, the UK Government gave two main justifications for resisting a time limit.
The first justification was that an individual’s detention remains under regular review by the government, and the second was that individuals can apply for release on immigration bail and can challenge the lawfulness of their detention in the courts. In relation to the second justification, the Law Society believes that the government’s approach over-emphasises the role of individual detainees in applying for release and does not take sufficient account of the barriers to release. The Law Society thinks that the government should take more responsibility for facilitating release by time-limiting detention, and international comparators demonstrate that alternatives are available.