HC Deb 28 February 1995 vol 255 cc537-8W
Mr. Fisher

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will establish an independent panel to adjudicate on the cases of all those who seek asylum in Britain and are detained.

Mr. Nicholas Baker

The decision to detain a person under Immigration Act powers is taken by a chief immigration officer or above and is reviewed within 24 hours by an immigration inspector. Thereafter, detention is reviewed locally at least every seven days and after one month the case is reviewed at immigration service headquarters monthly and at an increasingly senior level.

There is also an extensive system under which bail may be sought. Anyone refused asylum has a right of appeal and anyone who has an appeal pending may apply to the independent immigration appellate authorities for bail at any stage until the appeal has been finally determined. In addition, any passenger who has been detained for longer than seven days pending further examination may apply for bail to the appellate authorities. Detention may also be challenged in the courts by way of an application for habeas corpus, or bail may be sought from the courts once a case is before them in an application for judicial review.

The Government believe that the internal review procedures, together with the opportunities available to apply for bail or to challenge detention through the courts, provide adequate safeguards and that a further independent review process is not justified.

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