Sarabjit Singh QC and Jim Duffy are due to appear on behalf of the Home Secretary later today in a long-awaited appeal relating to the bail powers of immigration tribunals.
SM (Rwanda) relates to a foreign national detained pending deportation. The First-tier Tribunal ordered his release on immigration bail, but did so without ensuring that he agreed to appear before an immigration officer at a particular time and place – a statutory requirement. Instead, he was effectively released without any arrangement being made by the Tribunal for his future contact with the immigration authorities.
The case – which was decided in the Home Secretary’s favour in the Court of Appeal – raises a host of important legal issues, starting with what happens when courts and tribunals make orders in excess of their jurisdiction, and whether the context of individual liberty should affect how the court should approach that question. The Supreme Court will try to decipher what Parliament intended when it passed the relevant part of the 1971 Immigration Act, and how all this might affect the validity of the Home Secretary’s power to impose the restrictions she did.
The appeal is being heard by five Supreme Court Justices: Lord Reed of Allermuir (the President), Lord Sales, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows and the newly-appointed Lady Rose. Leading charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) has been granted Intervener status given the importance of the issues.
Amanda Weston QC, Anthony Vaughan and Gordon Lee will appear for SM, while Raza Husain QC, Laura Dubinsky and Shane Sibbel will represent BID.