||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 125 (Jul)
||European Court of Human Rights
Judges Casadevall (President), Bratza, Pellonpaa, Maruste, Traja, Mijovic and Sikuta, and Mr T Early (Section Registrar)
||11 July 2006
Immigration - Asylum seeker - Detention - Detention pending decision on claim - Claimant asylum-seekers being detained at reception centre for short periods pending decisions on their claims - Whether detention infringing claimants' right to liberty - Whether detention required to be 'necessary' - Whether detention for purposes of 'preventing' unauthorised entry to country - Whether reasons for detention given promptly - European Convention on Human Rights, arts 5(1)(f), 5(2).
Until a potential immigrant had been granted leave to remain in the country, he had not effected a lawful entry, and detention could reasonably be considered to be aimed at preventing unlawful entry for the purposes of art5(1)(f) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Furthermore, there was no requirement in art5(1)(f) that the detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorised entry should reasonably be considered to be necessary; all that was required was that the detention should be a genuine part of the process to determine whether the individual should be granted immigration clearance or asylum, and that it should not otherwise be arbitrary. Subject to the rule against arbitrariness, a state had a broader discretion to detain potential immigrants than was the case for other interferences with the right to liberty. However, the duty on states under art5(2) of the Convention was to furnish specific information to the individual or to his representative; general statements such as Parliamentary announcements could not replace the need for the individual to be informed of the reasons for his arrest or detention. In all the circumstances, the detention of the applicant in order to facilitate the speedy determination of his asylum claim was not incompatible with art5(1)(f). However, there had been a failure to provide promptly the reasons for that detention, contrary to art5(2).
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