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House of Lords written question – answered on 12th May 2011.

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Photo of The Earl of Sandwich The Earl of Sandwich Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there are inconsistencies in the decisions of immigration judges and in the procedures of immigration bail hearings; and, if so, what plans they have to improve the situation.

Photo of Lord McNally Lord McNally Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords

The decision whether to grant bail, and if so, on what terms and on what procedure to adopt, is a matter for the judgment of immigration judges of the First-tier Tribunal in the individual cases that come before them in accordance with tribunal rules and guidance issued by the chamber president. Immigration judges have to make difficult judgments, on limited information, often in respect of people whose identity cannot be verified and whose links to the community may be fragile. Nevertheless, they aim to refuse bail only in cases where there is both statutory authority and a demonstrated justification for doing so. I understand that the president of the Upper Tribunal and the president of the First-tier Tribunal are working together to provide further guidance to immigration judges to help ensure that this aim is acknowledged and applied throughout the jurisdiction.

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