Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2014] All ER (D) 186 (Jan)
Neutral Citation: [2014] EWCA Civ 45
Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division

Moses, Beatson and Underhill LJJ

Representation Stephanie Harrison QC and Michelle Brewer (instructed by Sutovic & Hartigan) for the claimant.
  Julie Anderson (instructed by Treasury Solicitor) for the Secretary of State.
  Dinah Rose QC, Tim Buley and Martha Spurrier (instructed by Bhatt Murphy and Deighton Pierce Glynn Ltd) for the interveners.
Judgment Dates: 28 January 2014


Immigration - Detention - Unlawful detention - Claimant being held in immigration detention - Claimant seeking damages for unlawful detention on basis of mental illness - Judge finding detention unlawful as failing to comply with defendant Secretary of State's policy, but awarding nominal damages because claimant could have been lawfully detained - Claimant appealing - Whether judge erring in application of policy - Whether claimant could have been lawfully detained - .

The Case

Immigration Detention. The claimant issued proceedings against the defendant Secretary of State for damages for unlawful immigration detention based on her mental illness. The judge held that her detention had been unlawful, but only awarded nominal damages because she could have been lawfully detained. The claimant appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in allowing the appeal, held that the judge had set too high a threshold for the applicability of the policy on detention of those with mental illness. Further, it was not possible to say that the claimant would and could have been detained in any event, in the lawful exercise of the power of detention.

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