Interception in immigration detention facilities

Part of Investigatory Powers Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:00 pm ar 14 Ebrill 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Justice and Home Affairs) 2:00, 14 Ebrill 2016

The clause deals inter alia with interception in immigration detention facilities, and it is that which leads me to oppose its inclusion in the Bill. We can see that there is some replication of previous legislation in the provisions that deal with interception in prisons and psychiatric institutions, but the provision on immigration detention facilities is new and it is deficient in several respects. The theory underlying it is deficient, because immigration detention facilities are dealt with in a part of the Bill that includes psychiatric hospitals and the facilities are defined to include immigration removal centres, which are short-term holding facilities in which people, including families with children, are held in the so-called pre-departure accommodation.

Immigration detention has been the subject of much discussion on the Floors of both Houses because it is done by administrative fiat and without limit of time. The person detained will not have been brought before a court or tribunal to have the lawfulness of their detention or entitlement to bail considered, unless they instigate such a process; and the powers to detain are very broad and cover a large number of scenarios. The Bill states that conduct is to be authorised if it is done in the exercise of any power conferred by or under the detention centre rules or the rules for short-term holding facilities.