Windrush: Statement from the Bar Council
Chair of the Bar Andrew Walker QC said:
“It seems that the Government is determined to press ahead with changes in the law that could make it even more difficult for people, including those of the Windrush generation, to demonstrate that they have the right to live in the UK.
“If the new law is brought into force in the form the Government wants, then those Commonwealth citizens – and many others – who are lawfully living and working in the UK will be denied the right to know what information the Home Office holds about them, which could make the difference between success and failure in a legal challenge to their wrongful detention or removal.
“The Home Office has a notoriously bad track record for unlawful decision-making, which can have catastrophic consequences for people who are detained indefinitely in removal centres or wrongfully deported.
“Giving the Home Office the right to decide not to share the data it holds about those it is trying to deport or detain will be to give it more power than it has shown it is competent to use. The legal profession’s concerns about the Bill were first raised many months ago, and we would urge the Government to listen to them, even at this late stage.”