Latest on the Immigration Bill.
Lords Ramsbotham’s amendment on judicial oversight returns to the House of Commons on the 9th May. Now is the time to write to your MP asking them to shed a bit more light into the murky detention system.
The Government also agreed for the first time to an element of automatic judicial oversight within detention. The question is now how many people will benefit from this oversight.
The Government amendment on automatic judicial oversight would benefit a tiny proportion of those held in detention. The Government compromise of automatic bail hearing after six months would probably only be needed for people who are so vulnerable that they are unable to instruct a solicitor or apply for bail. These are the exact people that according to the Home Office, should not be in detention in the first place.
The House of Lords believe the Government’s compromises are not good enough. Lord Ramsbotham’s original 28 days amendment was voted through by 271 votes to 206.
The Government is under substantial pressure to compromise by offering a meaningful level of judicial oversight. MPs will have another chance to vote for Lord Ramsbotham’s amendment imposing automatic judicial oversight after 28 days.
Now is the time to write to your MP and urge them to support the Ramsbotham amendment on judicial oversight.
Briefing paper available here.
Draft letter you can use here.
Check how your MP voted here.
What is Lord Ramsbotham’s Amendment?
Amendment 84: Automatic Judicial oversight for those held in detention longer than 28 days
This proposed that in order to detain someone on immigration grounds for over 28 days, the Home Office would in most cases need to seek legal permission. This was voted against, 302 to 266. A Government alternative amendment which proposes an automatic bail hearing for people detained for over 6 months was supported instead.