Supreme Court on Detention, Deportation and Mental Illness

United Kingdom Immigration Law Blog

R (O) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] UKSC 19 (27 April 2016)

Heaven knows: Yarl’s Wood IRC – the infamous British Gulag where pregnant women and children are locked up – may even make the likes of president Putin squirm on an off day. But rarely will the great British state cringe at the ugly truths lurking behind the scenes in detention centres operated by private contractors who profit from “indefinite” detention (and apparently also sexually prey on vulnerable people deprived of their liberty). A Nigerian national aged 38 who entered the UK illegally in late 2003 with her three-year old son, O suffered from mental health problems that instigated attempted suicide, other self-harm, hallucinations, unpredictable mood-swings and impulsive outbursts for which she received high doses of anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medication. She was detained at Yarl’s Wood for almost three years (2008-2011) purportedly justified by the…

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