Our vision at JCWI is of a UK where human rights and dignity are respected, and no one is made vulnerable or destitute or denied their fundamental rights simply because they have migrated.

One of our tools in this fight is through strategic litigation – legal action that seeks to right a wrong for an individual, but also to bring wider change, such as a change in policy.

Here are some of the cases we have contributed to in the past 12 months:

1) We brought judicial review proceedings to challenge the unlawful fee waiver policy for entry clearance applications. The Home Office conceded that the policy required an unlawful threshold to be met, and agreed to publish new policy confirming the correct threshold is affordability (though we are still waiting for them to do so!). We worked with Islington Law Centre in these linked cases.

2) When the Upper Tribunal wrote new guidance at the start of the pandemic that threatened the right to an oral hearing, JCWI brought legal proceedings acting as the claimant and the guidance was declared unlawful. We then acted as lead claimants in a group of 22 applicants seeking to have their individual decisions overturned. The decisions were all individually upheld and we are now pursuing appeals to the Court of Appeal.  

3) We challenged Home Office policy which failed to recognise marriages by Ahmadi Muslims in entry clearance applications and the policy was amended as a result. Ahmadi Muslims are accepted as being subject to persecution in Pakistan. 

4) We challenged the Home Office policy for deciding asylum claims of Biafran separatists, which led to an amended policy.   

5) JCWI were successful litigants in a Country Guidance case regarding asylum claims by Tamil Separatists. The new guidance protects a larger group of asylum seekers, and recognises the authoritarian nature of the Sri Lankan government. JCWI also was successful in defending an appeal to the Court of Appeal by the Home Office against this decision.  

6) JCWI acted as interveners in a judicial review claim which found the Home Office’s use of military barracks to house asylum seekers had been unlawful

7) JCWI acted as interveners in a case that challenged an immigration rule which did not allow for children who had been informally adopted to make a successful application to come to the UK. The Court of Appeal found the rule was unlawful and we are pursuing the Home Office to make sure that the rule is changed.

8) We are continuing our legal challenge against the ‘Right to Rent’ policy, a key pillar of the Hostile Environment. Our evidence shows that the policy causes racial discrimination in the rental market, but the Home Office refuses to scrap it.

9) JCWI was successful before the European Court of Human Rights in a challenge to deportation resulting in a breach of Article 8. Based on this case, the ECtHR is engaged in a series of cases considering the UK’s deportation regime and Article 8; JCWI are intervening in the individual matters. 

10) JCWI intervened in the case of The Secretary of State for the Home Department v K (a Child). We provided evidence that a large number of children were suffering a detriment as a result of a rule in the British Nationality Act 1981, that prevented them from being registered as British, because of the nationality of biological father. After receiving our evidence, the Home Office withdrew its appeal, and updated its policy to allow the children affected by this rule to register as British without a fee.

We have the following pending strategic cases:

1) AM Zimbabwe at the Upper Tribunal. AM Zimbabwe at the Supreme Court was a landmark case which significantly widened the possibility of making a human rights claim based on deteriorating health. JCWI represented the claimant in the case when it returned to the Upper Tribunal and judgment is pending.

2)  JCWI has intervened in two linked cases before the European Court of Human Rights which will consider the UK's approach to deportation and private/family life. We have also applied for permission to intervene in linked deportation appeals at the Supreme Court.

3) We are preparing the first Country Guidance case regarding the asylum claims of Biafran separatists.

4) An appeal on a novel point of law regarding the exclusion of Tamils from refugee status who gave intelligence information to the LTTE.