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Harriet Wakeman, acting for the Secretary of State for the Home Department, successfully resists interim injunction application seeking to suspend the Home Office’s migrant boat “Turnaround policy”

3rd February 2022

The Claimants, the Public and Commercial Services Union and Care 4 Calais, applied for an interim injunction to suspend the Secretary of State’s policy of intercepting migrant boats in UK waters, stopping them and redirecting them to France.

The application was heard by Mr Justice Swift sitting in the Administrative Court. Whilst Mr Justice Swift concluded that there was a serious issue to be tried in respect of one of the grounds pleaded by the Claimant, he accepted the submissions made on behalf of the Defendant that the balance of convenience weighed in favour of permitting the Secretary of State to maintain her policy at present.

In reaching this decision, he noted that it was open to the Secretary of State to consider that the policy might deter boats from making the crossing in the first place. He also stated that he placed significant weight on the safeguards set out within the policy, which he described as showing a comprehensive identification of risk arising from channel crossings and the use of the Turnaround tactic.

Harriet Wakeman acted alongside David Blundell QC and Julia Smyth (Landmark Chambers) and Naomi Hart (Essex Court Chambers).