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UK Suspends Detained Fast Track System Impacting LGBTI Asylum Seekers

The United Kingdom's High Court has ruled that the Asylum seeker “fast track” system implemented by the Home Office has no merit and is 'structurally unfair'.

The Detained Fast Track system (DFT), allowing the government to seek removal in as little as 22 days, has played a dramatic role in the removal of LGBTI asylum seekers, because the time period has been too short to prepare proper appeals.

The ruling was initially stayed as the government plans to appeal the verdict – but after the Court of Appeal lifted the stay, the Home Office has this week suspended the system entirely.

Ordering the temporary suspension of the system, immigration minister James Brokenshire said:

“Recently the system has come under significant legal challenge, including on the appeals stage of the process. .... In light of these issues, I have decided to temporarily suspend the operation of the detained fast track policy. I hope this pause to be short in duration, perhaps only a matter of weeks, but I will only resume operation of this policy when I am sure the right structures are in place to minimise any risk of unfairness.”

More than 100 asylum seekers are thought to have been released following the decision.

The UK system is particularly onerous for LGBTI asylum seekers, who are held indetention, and have a difficult time gathering evidence and finding support for their cases in te time allocated. The entire system is in great need of an overhaul.

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