AIDA Update UK: Unlawfulness of the Detained Fast-Track System pending appeals amidst ongoing criticism of duration and frequency of detention

The updated AIDA report on the UK elaborates upon the Detention Action litigation which saw the suspension of the Detained Fast Track (DFT) System for appeals on grounds that the system was structurally unfair and unjust. A clear herald for positive change, Asylum Aid, authors of the update, document that the litigation has led to the rehearing of appeals which were previously heard in the DFT. Indeed, an applicant will not be removed until the appeal has been reheard.

Notwithstanding this finding on the DFT Rules, the report details the frequent use of detention, as 11,146 persons seeking asylum had been detained between January and September 2015. The update documents that vulnerable individuals, who had experienced rape and torture, are placed in detention even though domestic policy dictates that vulnerable persons are unsuitable for detention. The disproportionate frequency of detention has been heavily criticised by an All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry, detailed in the report, which calls for decisions to detain only on the basis that it is for the shortest possible time and only to effect removal. As an ongoing outlier in comparison to other European Member States, the UK places no time limit on detention and thus the inquiry strongly advocates for a time limit of 28 days on the length of detention.

 

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The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions and detention across 20 countries.