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Kenworthy's Chambers

Windrush Compensation Consultation: Response from Kenworthy’s Chambers Immigration Team

by Kenworthy's Chambers 08/06/2018

The Compensation Scheme formula must include a reparation element in terms of making true amends to the harsh realities and consequences,  that have resulted from the policy of creating a 'Hostile Environment'. Awards must demonstrate a true recognition of the real and lasting harm that has resulted. All victims are deserving of reparative damages. What price can be given to a ruined life?

There needs to be both a political and commercial response to right the tragic  wrong[s] which has been done to far too many, by providing a reparative payment that truly reflects the harm done to all those who have been wronged. A baseline figure [£10,000] should be given to all and be increased on a case by case basis depending on the issues at stake in each case, and the range of loss suffered.

Although the compensation formula may be difficult to compute, the methodology and reasoning must be both transparent and clearly explained. It is vital that those impacted can understand how and why any final settlement figure is arrived at.

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"

- Albert Einstein

Many Windrush victims threatened with unlawful expulsion have had to seek and pay for legal advice and assistance, as no legal aid or public funding was available. Many were too frightened to approach lawyers because of the feared legal costs. Therefore on a wider note, while the Government continues to use its "deport first, appeal later" powers in removal cases, the risk of further injustice remains. The restrictions on access to justice in the immigration appeal system adds to the compensation debate and perhaps further explains the cavalier approach of Home Office officials making first instance decisions to expel many people, who simply have had no proper recourse to appeal and challenge these decisions with the assistance of Legal Aid. We ask that the government reinstates an in-country right of appeal in such cases and makes available legal aid so that those who are affected have proper access and recourse to justice.

Further the Government and Home Office response thus far arguably neglects a fundamental point, many of those impacted by the Windrush Generation debacle do not just need confirmation of a right to remain in the UK; they should be entitled to recognition of their RIGHT to be recognised as British citizens immediately.

The Government should be moved to act expeditiously to pass legislation allowing for amendment to s3 of the British Nationality Act 1981, to allow the impacted 'Windrush generation applicants ' to register as British citizens as of right.

Like many others we share  and endorse the view that the ' hostile environment' polices initiated by  Government have created a culture of fear within black communities and have led to them being deprived of services and support  and security which they should have been  entitled to as of right . It is also clear to us that the policy has affected the vast majority of the commonwealth citizens who have made the UK their lives. It is not clear if this result was intended or foreseen by policy makers. There is a feeling by many that the Government simply did not care about the impact of such policies.  Reckless conduct leading to real harm is deserving of exemplary compensatory awards.  

 

Gita Patel - Barrister

Shazia Khan- Barrister

Mark Schwenk - Barrister

George Brown - Barrister

John Nicholson - Barrister

Rebecca Pickering -Barrister

Steve Tettey - Barrister

Jonathan Greer - Barrister

Craig Holmes - Barrister

Leona Bashow - Pupil Barrister