Painful lessons about the duty of candour (more on the unlawful seizure of migrants’ mobiles)
21 November 2022
In an earlier post, we reported the Divisional Court’s eye-catching ruling that a blanket policy to seize and download data from migrants’ phones was unlawful: R (HM, MA and KH) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 695 (Admin).
In this first Judgment, the Court analysed powers granted by the Immigration Acts 1971 and 2016 and rejected the Defendant’s erroneous interpretation of the relevant statutory provisions. It then made consequential orders (also reported) including steps to publicise its ruling, given that over 400 phones, still held, could not be linked to any individual migrant.
A second Judgment (delivered on 14 October 2022) was recently published ( EWHC 2729 (Admin)). This Judgment addresses the question “how did this happen?” How did the Defendant come to operate an unlawful policy and why was its existence initially denied, leading the Defendant to breach her duty of candour within the proceedings?
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