The small boats storm and the unlawful seizure of mobile phones
4 November 2022
The storm raging around small boats arriving on the south coast has been brewing for some time. In early summer the focus was a policy to send arrivals to Rwanda. Intervention by the European Court of Human Rights effectively suspended flights while a domestic ruling on the policy’s legality is awaited. Meanwhile, in Dover a migrant processing centre has been firebombed, another is dangerously overcrowded, and the new Home Secretary raises tensions by speaking of an “invasion”.
Amidst this swirl is an eye-catching Divisional Court Decision about a secret and unlawful Home Office policy to seize and download data from the mobile phones of all those arriving in small boats. The substantive Judgment in R (HM, MA and KH) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 695 (Admin) was delivered on 25 March 2022, followed by an Order distilling the Court’s conclusions on 18 October 2022.
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