New guidance on immigration bail for judges of the First-tier Tribunal
New guidance on immigration bail for judges of the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was released last week by Judge Clements, President of the First-tier Tribunal.
The 19-page guidance can be downloaded herefrom the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.
It replaces Bail Guidance Note No 1 of 2012 (see here) and its updates.
The new guidance reflects the changes introduced by schedule 10 of the Immigration Act 2016, which made significant changes to immigration detention powers and saw a new status called “immigration bail” come into force on 15 January 2018.
For more information on the changes to immigration bail and the detention powers now in force, see Colin Yeo’s backgrounder on FreeMovement.
Last week’s guidance is directed to First-tier Tribunal judges and it seeks to be concise and to focus on practical issues.
“Of course, guidance can never be exhaustive. Judges are expected to adapt the principles and practices described below when deciding whether to grant immigration bail,” the guidance states.
Bilaal Shabbir of MBS Solicitors said on FreeMovement that the new judicial guidance is much more concise than the old Presidential Guidance Note and it appears to operate in quite a fair and reasonable manner.
Shabbir concluded: “Thankfully, the concerns that practitioners had when the Immigration Act 2016 was introduced, that tribunals will now hardly ever grant bail, do not appear to have filtered through. Let’s wait and see for now.”
Immigration barrister Zarina Rahman of Richmond Chambers said on Twitter that the new guidance is very balanced and takes a sensible approach to issues such as sureties and bail address.