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Jerome Phelps

Director of Detention Action

Jerome Phelps has been working with people in immigration detention since 2003. Initially the only staff member, he has led Detention Action to take on a national role in challenging immigration detention. He has written or co-written Detention Action’s three influential reports: Detained Lives (2009) and No Return No Release No Reason (2011) on indefinite detention, and Fast Track to Despair (2012) on the Detained Fast Track asylum process. He has played a leading role in Detention Action’s national campaigns on these issues. Jerome has written on detention issues for a variety of publications. He is the Western Europe representative of the International Detention Coalition.

End of the Line for the Detention of Asylum Seekers

Yesterday's Court of Appeal judgment ought to be the end of the line for the systematic incarceration of asylum-seekers in the UK. For the fifth time, the British courts have concluded that the Detained Fast Track asylum process is operating unlawfully.
30/07/2015 21:12 BST

The High Court and the Unfair Detention of Asylum Seekers

They are locked up for days or weeks without access to a lawyer, not knowing what is happening... They receive the decision the next day. The refusal rate is 99%... "I was lucky... Many more have not been lucky. And justice should not depend on luck."
12/07/2014 22:31 BST

Point of No Return

The UK's practice of indefinite immigration detention is a great anomaly, in the context both of the restrictions that the government has accepted on anti-terror detention, and of how pretty much every comparable state handles these things. The UK is unique in Europe in having no time limit to immigration detention and in actually locking people up for years for their immigration status.
23/01/2014 17:03 GMT

Farewell, Racist Van

So farewell then, racist van. You had your week of spreading fear, loathing and community tension in six London boroughs on behalf of the Home Office, with your message that migrants here illegally should go home or face arrest...
27/08/2013 11:21 BST

Even in Guantanamo They Have Lawyers

Ukip won no seats at that election, of course. Just as they have won no seats since. Yet this week's Queen's Speech shows that, even without policies, Farage is starting to shape Britain in his image. For some migrants, that Britain will look a little like Guantanamo Bay.
10/05/2013 12:39 BST

New Legal Challenge to End the Detention of Asylum-Seekers

We are in a high security wing of Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, just outside Heathrow Airport, to run an advice workshop. Often, we find people with urgent needs for advice and advocacy. But today, almost everyone I see is an asylum-seeker on the Detained Fast Track, which means that there is little that we can do to help.
30/04/2013 11:38 BST