Rights groups slammed the decision saying people seeking protection in the UK deserve their claims to be fairly assessed.
After a decision to overturn a Supreme Court ruling, immigrants and refugees will be stripped of their right to object to deportation orders using a Judicial Review in the High Court, the Independent reported on Wednesday.
The change was announced during the Queen’s speech on Monday as part of a major reform of the asylum system and the Judicial Review bill.
The nearly 10 year old Judicial Review bill was allowing tribunal decisions regarding asylum, immigration, or human rights to be put forward before the court. Both the UK Home office or a court can make such decisions.
Around 700 Judicial Reviews were pursued each year, demanding to oversee the process to make sure the law had been correctly applied and the right procedures were followed while the deportation decision was being taken.
The success rate of these applications is unclear. “We are investigating how many of these cases result in a successful outcome for the claimant,” the Queen’s speech stated.
But the decision could land the refugees, who have won their claim in the High Court, in trouble, exposing them to the risk of deportation, the Independent quoted Nazek Ramadan, director of Migrant Voice, as saying.
“The government is taking legal rights away from people who need protection - with individuals deported to countries where they are at risk of harm or persecution. What does this say about us as a country?” she said.
For the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), the decision to overturn the Judicial Review bill is “a grave injustice, not least because the Home Office regularly gets decisions wrong”.
“People seeking protection in the UK deserve to have their voices heard, and their claims calmly and fairly assessed,” Minnie Rahman, the organisation’s campaign director said.
“These plans will deny refugees rights and status and leave many more people in limbo as the government's asylum return deals with third countries appear completely mythical.”
“Handing refugees at the hand of smugglers”
The purpose of the bill under the new plan for Immigration Legislation would be to “enable those with no right to be here to be removed more easily from the UK,” the speech said.
“Increasing the removal of those with no right to remain in the UK, including foreign national offenders,” would be among the main benefits of the bill, it added.
For the NGO, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, the ideas in the plan are rehashed, recycled and in some cases already proven to fail.
“It will put more people at risk (particularly people vulnerable to exploitation) and it threatens the cohesiveness of our communities,” the statement in the group’s website said.
Almost 200 organisations, including the Manchester-based NGO, have previously reacted to the government’s consultation on fundamental changes to refugee policy, calling it “a sham.”
Deporting refugees to third countries, holding them in warehouse-style “reception centres”, were among the proposed changes. Refugees are also asked to reapply for protection every 30 months.
“What they’re proposing is extremely divisive and asking the public to turn their backs on refugees and people seeking safety in the UK,” Rahman said.
“So the immigration system is in need of desperate reform but not of the kind being proposed in this speech which will ultimately roll back our commitment to the Refugee Convention and make the asylum system more dangerous.”