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Jed Pennington

Jed specialises in public law and human rights, with a particular focus on the rights of people held in immigration detention and deaths in state custody.

Jed regularly provides training on his areas of practice and writes journal articles, including co-authoring regular updates on immigration detention for Legal Action. He is an accredited senior caseworker under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum scheme and maintains a strong interest in immigration law, particularly the current government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy. He works closely with a number of NGOs, including Medical Justice, Detention Action, ILPA and INQUEST. He is co-convenor of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association’s Detention, Deportation and Offences working group. He has been a trustee for Detention Action (2012-2016), assisting with their challenges to the detained fast track process; and he has been a trustee for ILPA (2012-2014).

Jed’s notable cases include:

Medical Justice v Information Commissioner & Home Office (June 2016, Information Rights Tribunal): represented Medical Justice in an appeal against a decision of the Information Commissioner upholding a decision of the Home Office to refuse to disclose a report relating to the restraint of a severely unwell detainee in hospital who died (appeal allowed and report disclosed).

Bruno Dos Santos, deceased (May 2016): critical jury narrative verdict at inquest into death of detainee who died at the Verne immigration detention centre.

R (MK, IK and HK) v SSHD
[2016] UKUT 231 (April 2016): successful judicial review brought by a mother and her two unaccompanied refugee children stranded in Calais. The Tribunal gave guidance on the SSHD’s duty of enquiry and investigation under Dublin III and article 8 ECHR and ordered DNA testing. IK and HK were reunited with their mother and siblings in the UK.

Gemma Whitehead, deceased (April 2016): inquest jury found neglect contributed to death of vulnerable psychiatric patient.

R (Babbage) v SSHD
[2016] EWHC 148 (Admin) (February 2016): successful judicial review of continued immigration detention brought by a Zimbabwean national who had been detained for more than two years. There was no realistic prospect of removal to Zimbabwe because of the longstanding position of the Zimbabwean authorities that they would only accept voluntary returns; it was clear B would not return voluntarily and he could not detained in order to refer him for prosecution for non-compliance. The judgment was critical of disclosure and evidential failings by and on behalf of the SSHD.

Tarakhil v Home Office [2015] EWHC 2845 (QB) (October 2015): the High Court found that the detention of a young Afghan man over 21 days in early 2012 was unlawful and ordered the Home Office pay damages of £23,292.50.

R (M) v SSHD (October 2015). The Secretary of State conceded that the detained fast track was unfair for a vulnerable victim of domestic violence and that her detention over nearly four months at Yarl’s Wood was unlawful.

R (MD) v SSHD [2014] EWHC 2249 (Admin) (July 2014): the court found that a woman who developed severe mental illness as a result of immigration detention at Yarl’s Wood was unlawfully detained over a near 11 month period from October 2011 to September 2012. The conditions she was detained in at Yarl’s Wood, which included frequent segregation and use of restraint by male guards, was inhuman and degrading in breach of article 3 ECHR.

JAO & Others v Home Office & Tascor
(May 2015): claim for false imprisonment and assault brought by a mother and four children arising out of detention and attempted removal of the family in May 2012. The Home Office conceded that the family were falsely imprisoned because they should have been given the opportunity to leave voluntarily.

Nkata v Avon & Somerset Police & Home Office (November 2014): Avon & Somerset Police admitted that a woman had been unlawfully arrested and detained when she was arrested by police officers at the door of the church on her wedding day, also admitting that her husband’s article 8 rights were breached and providing an apology.

Nicolas Saunders, deceased (October 2012): critical narrative jury verdict at inquest into self-inflicted death of vulnerable 18 year prisoner at Stoke Heath YOI.

R (EH) v SSHD [2012] EWHC 2569 (Admin) (September 2012): a case taken on when EH, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, was detained and faced imminent removal. The SSHD released him and granted him leave to remain. The court found he was unlawfully detained, including contrary to his rights under article 5 and 8 ECHR. Acted pro bono in EH’s asylum appeal, which resulted in him being recognised as a refugee.

AM v SSHD (2012, Central London County Court, unreported): the Home Office falsely imprisoned a Zimbabwean national detained over a 13 month period. From May 2008 there was no realistic prospect of removing him due to official Government policy to suspend removals because of the violence and dire humanitarian conditions in Zimbabwe following elections in March 2008.

R (BA) v SSHD [2011] EWHC 2748 (Admin) (October 2011): a severely mentally ill man held in detention at Harmondsworth was unlawfully detained for 3 ½ months and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment in breach of article 3 ECHR. Transfer to hospital under the Mental Health Act and release were granted by way of interim relief.

R (S) v SSHD [2011] EWHC 2120 (Admin) (August 2011): a severely mentally ill man detained held in detention at Harmondsworth was unlawfully detained for 5 months. The conditions he was detained in constituted inhuman and degrading treatment, the first time a UK court had found conditions of immigration detention to breach article 3. Transfer to hospital under the Mental Health Act and release were granted by way of interim relief.

R (MC) v SSHD [2010] EWCA Civ 347 which concerned a challenge to detention under immigration powers by a long term detained Algerian national suffering from serious mental disorder.

Jed joined Bhatt Murphy upon qualifying as a solicitor in 2010. Before that he worked as an immigration caseworker for five years, four years at Wilsons where he completed his training contract on a part-time basis whilst studying for the Legal Practice Course. He has a degree in law from Cambridge University and attended comprehensive school in Hull.
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LALY winner
LALY Awards
Jed Pennington pictured at the 2012 Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards, where he won the award for the Young Legal Aid Solicitor of the Year.