Govan Law Centre issues new Human Rights Act challenge against Serco

Mike Dailly

Govan Law Centre (GLC) has commenced additional legal proceedings at Scotland’s Supreme Court on behalf of an Iraqi asylum seeker threatened with eviction by Serco.

The Home Office contractor had issued lock-change orders to tenants refused asylum in the UK, causing pressure and legal proceedings from campaigners and charities.

GLC’s proceedings are against Serco Group plc, Compass SNI Ltd, and the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

The new action concerns a lady told to leave her home by Serco after her husband’s asylum application was unsuccessful, despite having further legal options.

The law centre said it plans to argue this case together with its current Court of Session action for an Iranian national threatened with a lock change eviction by Serco.

GLC believes there are a number of important untested legal principles at stake. In addition to key principles in Scots contract law, Scots common law and the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984, there are also important Human Rights Act principles currently untested in the UK.

Mike Dailly, Govan Law Centre principal solicitor, said: “Following the successful European Court of Human Rights case of Panyushkiny v. Russia H.L.R 7, we believe an asylum seeker at risk of eviction has the right to challenge the proportionality of that eviction before an independent tribunal as a matter of human rights law.

“GLC believes Serco’s Move on Protocol is unlawful and incompatible with the 1998 Human Rights Act, and it is incumbent upon Serco to place its entire policy on hold in Scotland, pending Scotland’s Supreme Court having an opportunity to consider and rule on this issue.”

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