Rona Macleod: UK Supreme Court refuses to consider Ali v Serco and Others
Rona Macleod, a solicitor and associate at the Legal Services Agency (LSA), considers the case against Serco’s lock-change evictions post-Ali.
For around eighteen months Legal Services Agency have been challenging lock change evictions in Glasgow Sheriff Court. We raised one of the first actions challenging these evictions and have raised around 77 interdict actions since then. These cases were put on hold waiting for a decision to be made in the case of Ali v Serco and Others which called before the Second Division of the Inner House of the Court of Session in August 2019. The Inner House determined that lock change evictions can be lawfully undertaken in Scotland without breaching common law or human rights law. An application was thereafter made to appeal this case to the UK Supreme Court.
We are saddened to hear that the UK Supreme Court has determined that there is no arguable point of law on which to hear an appeal against the Inner House’s decision. We are considering the decision and contacting our clients who are affected by it. We still have around 44 interdict actions sisted in Glasgow Sheriff Court. Each of these actions relates to a vulnerable person at potential risk of street homelessness and being pushed further into destitution.
At present, it is open to clients who are in asylum accommodation without support in place to make an application for support in terms of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 on the basis of the COVID-19 pandemic. We would encourage strongly anyone affected by the Ali case to seek advice and to make an application as soon as possible if they can.
However, support based on COVID-19 is temporary in nature. The Ali case and the associated litigation has exposed a problematic system which exposes appeal rights exhausted asylum seekers to potential breaches of their human rights. We will continue to work with our friends and partners in the sector to vindicate the rights of appeal rights exhausted asylum seekers and push for a fairer, more humane system.
For further information contact Rona Macleod on 0141 353 3354, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.