Immigration

The Immigration Team provides expert advice and representation in all aspects of asylum, immigration, trafficking and nationality cases. We have had a specialist Immigration Team in Garden Court North Chambers since our foundation and it is now one of the largest in the country. Ian Macdonald QC, a founding member of Chambers, is an acknowledged leader in the field and the co-author of the seminal text, Macdonald’s ‘Immigration Law and Practice’, to which other members of the Team also contribute.

The Team is committed to publicly funded work and to assisting the vulnerable; including people who have been trafficked or exploited, subjected to domestic violence, victims of torture and those experiencing mental ill-health or limited capacity.  We make a real effort to understand the concerns of those we represent, trying to ensure that they are fully involved and able to engage in the process. We are approachable, down to earth and, willing to go the extra mile for our clients.

Members of the Team are always happy to assist solicitors, including informally. We work in tandem with our instructing solicitors to provide input from the earliest stages of a case, because we believe this provides the best chance of success for our clients. We take on pro bono cases where appropriate, including for the Bar Pro Bono Unit, local charities and Bail for Immigration Detainees. Our Team includes barristers who have worked directly with people who have experienced persecution and human rights abuses abroad, and who have worked at law centres and non-governmental organisations in the UK. Our barristers understand the specific challenges that immigration work brings. We do not cherry pick cases based on prospects of success. We relish difficult cases and often succeed where other barristers have previously negatively advised.

Our expertise includes tribunal appeals and judicial review work, and we regularly appear before the Upper Tribunal, Administrative Court and Court of Appeal, as well as the Supreme Court, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights.

We have expertise across the whole spectrum of immigration and asylum, including:

  • Asylum and humanitarian protection, as well as asylum support, family reunion and fresh claims;
  • Bail and unlawful detention;
  • Family rights cases with an immigration and asylum cross-over;
  • CART judicial reviews;
  • Criminal offences and penal sanctions for immigrants, landlords and employers;
  • Deportation;
  • Entry clearance and visitor visas;
  • European Union free movement law;
  • Family immigration, including applications for partners, children, adult dependent relatives and victims of domestic violence, and challenging Home Office claims of ‘sham marriages’;
  • Human rights law, including medical and private life cases and cases where return would amount to a breach of ECHR rights such as the right to a fair trial;
  • Points-based system for workers, investors, entrepreneurs and students, including sponsor licence suspension and revocation;
  • Procedural issues, including fee waivers;
  • Right to rent;
  • Settlement;
  • Statelessness;
  • Trafficking; and
  • Urgent removals.

We have success in obtaining the release of those unlawfully detained and then obtaining damages for them. We take on complex fresh claim cases where applicants have been unsuccessful before the tribunal and are involved throughout, advising on how to properly submit a fresh claim right through to successful appeals. We often act in test case litigation, including:

  • An ongoing challenge to changes to the immigration rules denying a right of appeal to victims of domestic violence;
  • An ongoing challenge to the distinction between labour exploitation and trafficking in cases where domestic workers have not been paid for their work;
  • An ongoing challenge in relation to the correct approach to Article 3 cases where humanitarian conditions arise as a result of conflict;
  • The correct test and approach in substantive CART JR hearings;
  • The correct approach to medical and expert evidence in trafficking cases;
  • A successful challenge in the Supreme Court to the “deport first, appeal later” scheme;
  • A successful challenge to the guidance dealing with exceptional case funding;
  • The proper application of the “clearly unfounded” certification power;
  • A challenge based on the justiciability of claimed breaches of Dublin II;
  • The proper approach to claims made by stateless individuals;
  • A successful supreme court challenge on the use of third party support in pre-Appendix FM cases;
  • Test cases on the application of the “second appeals test“;
  • The interpretation and proper application of section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004;
  • The applicable principles to cases based upon a child’s long residence;
  • There lack of a category under the EEA Regulations as “self-employment seeking”;
  • The correct approach to calculating “adequate maintenance” levels under Appendix FM including third party gifts and capital;
  • Guidelines for the admissibility of finger print evidence from the EU fingerprint database;
  • A reference to the ECJ on whether the UK’s derogations from the Residence Directive are ultra vires the A8 Treaty of Accession;
  • Whether the Worker Registration Scheme was unlawful for its final two years of operation, and what kind of past residence a retiree need demonstrate in order to acquire permanent residence rights;
  • Whether there is a right of appeal against a FTT’s decision to treat an appeal as withdrawn when SSHD withdraws the underlying decision (and relevant factors in the decision); and
  • The making of a declaration of incompatibility on the basis of unlawful discrimination arising from the gender-bias of nationality legislation.

Members of our Team have also acted in Country Guidance cases before the Upper Tribunal, including:

Several members of the Team accept Public Access instructions.

Although Chambers is in Manchester, members of the Immigration Team frequently travel to courts and tribunals across England and Wales. If you would like to know more about the Immigration Team please contact the Practice Management Team on 0161 817 6377 or at gcn@gcnchambers.co.uk.

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