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WALUMBA LUMBA v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT : KADIAN MIGHTY v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT

The Secretary of State for the Home Department was liable for the false imprisonment of two foreign national prisoners pending their deportation, as she had applied an unlawful policy when exercising her power of detention. However, they were entitled to nominal damages only as they would have been detained if the published policy had been applied.

28 March 2011

The appellant foreign nationals (L and M) appealed against a decision ((2010) EWCA Civ 111, (2010) 1 WLR 2168) rejecting their claims for damages for unlawful detention pending deportation. On release from prison in the United Kingdom L and M had been detained by the respondent secretary of state under the Immigration Act 1971 Sch.3 pending deportation. At the time of the detention decisions there was a published policy on the circumstances in which immigrants would be detained. However, an unpublished policy of a near blanket ban on release pending deportation was applied. L and M challenged the lawfulness of their detention. The judge and the Court of Appeal found no liability for false imprisonment because L and M would have been detained if the published policy was applied to them. It was conceded in the Supreme Court that the detention policy applied to L and M was unlawful because it was a blanket policy and was inconsistent with the published policy. The issues were whether (...

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