We believe everyone has the right to a fair trial; 
if you have been illegally deported, we can protect you.

The AIRE Centre acts in cases concerning the expulsion of long term residents in stable relationships with partners and children in the UK; in fact these individuals are often deported without a fair trial.  Many of these cases settle once they go to Strasbourg, having been strenuously fought in the national courts.

If you believe you are being illegally deported or are looking for advice on behalf of someone who has, call our advice line for free legal advice. Our advice line is open Mondays to Fridays between 10:30am and 6pm on 020 7831 4276 or email us at i[email protected]

Operation Nexus

Our most recent project was working to fight Operation Nexus and the illegal deportation of individuals. Operation Nexus began in 2012 and was set up as a joint initiative with the Met Police and the Home Office. Its aim was to facilitate the deportation of foreign national offenders.

We decided to further investigate the policy, meeting defendants, analysing individual cases in depth and coordinating with other civil rights groups and solicitors’ firms. What we found was highly disturbing. The government was able to deport individuals who had no prior convictions, without permitting them access to a fair trial.

If an individual is deported this should be based on proven conduct, which is usually demonstrated by the presence of a criminal conviction. However, after investigation we found that in the Nexus cases, the Home Office was provided with police intelligence regarding individuals who may only be suspected of some form of criminality, or who may have had a criminal conviction many years ago or in a some cases may not have been convicted of a criminal offence ever. This intelligence information is then presented to the immigration tribunal considering any deportation appeal, often without any external scrutiny or challenge.

Because they are not in a criminal court, but in an immigration tribunal, the rules of evidence are significantly lessened:

  • They do not have to be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt, but only on a balance of probabilities.

  • They face a single judge instead of a jury of their peers.

  • Evidence by anonymous or absent witnesses is admissible, and can be presented to the court by a third party, often a Nexus police officer.

  • The court is under no obligation to disclose evidence favourable to the defendant.

From our research we believe that the policy is being implemented unfairly and has done much damage to human rights protections under European law, including impacting the right to a fair trial.

Through our crowd funding appeal we have managed to raise beyond our target of £3000 and have reached £4900. Thank you to all those who supported our appeal. This money will now go towards representing the defendants and to bring a Judicial Review against this policy ourselves.

- Beghal v Director of Public Prosecutions [2015] UKSC 49 (22 July 2015)

MG (prison-Article 28(3) (a) of Citizens Directive) [2014] UKUT 392 (IAC) (12 August 2014)

Header Photo: David McKelvey