Britain’s Court of Appeal has suspended the controversial detained fast-track (DFT) system, which imprisons thousands of asylum seekers each year while they appeal rulings.
The High Court ruled the
process was unlawful on June 12, but put a “legal stay”
on the decision, meaning the fast-track system remained in
operation until government had exhausted attempts to
However, the Court of Appeal quashed the legal stay on Friday,
ruling the DFT must end immediately.
However, High Court Justice Nicol said this had a “very
limited role” in ensuring a just outcome and therefore ruled
the system was illegal.
In the High Court ruling, the judge said: “In my judgment the
Fast Track Rules (FTR) do incorporate structural unfairness. They
put the appellant at a serious procedural disadvantage.
“The appellant is always detained and, as is obvious, the
fact of detention places additional obstacles in the way of
achieving all that has to be done before a tribunal hearing.
“What seems to me to make the FTR structurally unfair is the
serious procedural disadvantage, which comes from the abbreviated
timetable and curtailed case management powers.”
DFT was highlighted as an unfair system by a detained Pakistani
asylum seeker RT spoke with earlier this year.
Chowdery (not his real name) told RT the detained fast-track
system has “been discredited in the courts and must be
Responding to the Court of Appeals decision on Friday, Detention
Action director Jerome Phelps said: “We are delighted that
asylum seekers will no longer face a detained appeals process
that is so unfair as to be unlawful.
“It is unfortunate that it has taken so many court rulings to
finally suspend this deeply flawed process.
“People seeking protection from war and persecution deserve
better from British justice. We hope that the government will
take this opportunity to reflect and develop a different approach
that is fair,” he added.
This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.