UK lawyers partake in a loud clamour
Many UK qualified lawyers who legally represent migrant asylum seekers have demanded for a genuine apology from the Home Office, namely Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This is in the form of a letter which condemns the discriminatory and unwarranted labelling of these legal professionals, such as “human activists” and “lefty-lawyers”. More than approximately 800 lawyers who work in this legal sector are signatories to this letter, including legal governing bodies such as the Law Society.
Tension started to mount from the release of a video posted by the Home Office via their Twitter account on 26th August 2020 alongside the caption:
“We are working to remove migrant with no right to remain in the UK/ But currently return regulations are rigid and open to abuse/Allowing activist lawyers to delay and disrupt returns”
Initially, the categorisation of lawyers who represent migrant seeking asylum of being “activists” by the Home Office received widespread criticism, even from university professors. Eventually this was removed.
This has just recently been reignited again at the Conservative Party Conference whereby the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, referred to these lawyers as “do-gooders” and other comments. Mr Johnson essentially justified the words of the Home Secretary by further commenting that the UK’s criminal justice system would be changed completely to prohibit the involvement of “lefty human rights lawyers”.
There has been speculation that the UK is still contemplating or even planning the transfer of asylum seekers to an island in the Atlantic.
Criticism from who?
It appears to be the case that high-profile lawyers such as former justices of the UK Supreme Court, including Lord Collins, Dyson and Walker, QCs and both retired and court judges have partaken in this call for a promise that such actions of undermining the rule of law by the UK government will not happen again.
Downing street has provided minimal comments so far on the letter, not to mention the apology that has been called for.