Independence referendum: no vote
55% of Scotland’s voters said “no” to independence on 18 September. Concerns about Scottish versus British citizenship, and the effect of a “yes” vote on EU membership and free movement can be shelved for the time being.
However, the “devo max” offer from the main Westminster parties could mean that immigration policy is on the table as a devolved matter in the near future.
Upper Tribunal judges and appeals
The Upper Tribunal is recruiting judges  : we speculate that this could have something to do with the forthcoming changes to immigration appeal rights, laid out in the Immigration Act 2014.
Tribunal appeal rights in all except human rights and protection cases will be replaced with an “administrative review” by the Home Office, costing £80. Although cases involving family members would usually be expected to fall within the definition of “human rights” cases, it seems that a number of applications of this kind are now being “certified” by the Home Office. Certified cases can only be appealed from outside the UK.
The removal of appeal rights, and the certification of claims, is likely to lead to an increase in the number of applications for Judicial Review. Immigration JR claims are heard by the Upper Tribunal, which could explain the need for those new judges.
Sources suggest that the new appeals system could come into force as early as 20 October.
Report on immigration detainees held in prison
The charity Bail for Immigration Detainees has issued its report entitled “ Denial of Justice: the hidden use of UK prisons for immigration detention ”
The report highlights that over 1,000 people are held in prisons instead of immigration detention centres. They are subject to prison discipline, and suffer the effects of things like reduced access to legal advice, removal of mobile phones etc.