3 December 2015
The updated AIDA report on the United Kingdom elaborates upon Detention Action’s litigation which saw the suspension of the Detained Fast Track (DFT) procedure for appeals on grounds that the system was structurally unfair and unjust. Since the suspension of the DFT, all appeals which had been heard in the procedure are to be re-heard and applicants cannot be removed from the country until the appeal has concluded.
However, the use of detention is still widespread in the UK: 11,146 asylum seekers have been detained thus far in 2015. The report worryingly documents that even vulnerable persons are placed in detention; no alternatives to detention are considered. The UK is an ongoing exception among EU Member States, allowing detention for an unlimited amount of time.
The UK declined to be part of the EU relocation mechanism and agreed instead to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Syrians over a five year period. As for the situation in Calais, the increased security and surveillance measures put in place are intended to compel people in the camps to claim asylum in France rather that in the UK.
For further information:
- Asylum Information Database (AIDA), Country report: United Kingdom, November 2015
- Asylum Information Database (AIDA), AIDA update UK: unlawfulness of the detained fast-track system pending appeals amidst ongoing criticism of duration and frequency of detention, 27 November 2015
- Detention Action, The Detained Fast Track: the end of the road, 12 November 2015
- Alison Harvey, Recent challenges to accelerated procedures involving detention in the UK, EDAL, 7 August 2015.