UK

Mohammed Hussein, and Muhammad Rahman – Handed Down Judgment

Both claimants are adult men of the Muslim faith who were detained at Brook House immigration removal centre (IRC) at Gatwick Airport.  Both claimants claim that the conditions and regime at Brook House interfered with their required religious observance as, they say, devout Muslims, and that the conditions and regime have a differential and discriminatory impact upon them as Muslims, not experienced by those of other faiths or of no faith at all.  This is said to follow from a combination of the hours of “lock‑in” (as the claimants choose to call it) or “night state” (as the defendant prefers to call it) at Brook House when detainees cannot leave their rooms; the required times of Muslim prayer; room sharing; and the presence within the room of a lavatory cubicle without a door. The Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) admits within these proceedings that she has to date failed to discharge her duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 to have due regard to whether these circumstances have a discriminatory impact.

Outcome In summary ‑

(i) I grant permission to both claimants to apply for judicial review on grounds (V), (VI) and (VII) of their respective amended grounds.

(ii) I grant permission to Mr Rahman to apply for judicial review on ground (VIII) of his amended grounds.

(iii) I refuse permission to both claimants to apply for judicial review on any other grounds.

(iv) I declare that in continuing to authorise and/or permit the maintenance of the lock‑in (or night state) regime at Brook House and/or the conditions of the detention generally and/or in the claimants’ cases, the SSHD failed to have any regard to the public sector equality duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

(v) I declare (subject to precise drafting by counsel) that the night state or lock‑in regime at Brook House, in conjunction with the presence of internal unclosed lavatories and shared rooms, (i) constitutes indirect discrimination contrary to Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights read with Article 14,  which is unlawful unless justified; and (ii) unless justified, constitutes unlawful indirect discrimination contrary to section 19 of the Equality Act 2010   No such justification has yet been shown by the SSHD.

(vi) I declare that the practice and policy of permitting smoking within any of the areas of Brook House which are enclosed or substantially enclosed, including the detainees’ rooms, was, at the time the claimant Mr Rahman was detained there, and still is, unlawful.

(vii) I declare that insofar as DSO 2/2014 applies to Brook House or other private IRCs it is unlawful.

(viii) I decline to make any mandatory orders.

Read the full judgment, https://is.gd/TVtQRB

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