13th May 2024 


 Today, at Belfast High Court, Mr Justice Humphreys has found that provisions of the Illegal Migration Act are incompatible with the Northern Ireland Protocol / Windsor Framework.   The Court also found that certain provisions of the Act are incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights Act.  

Our client is a sixteen-year-old asylum seeker from Iran who arrived by small boat into Kent.  He was transferred by the Home Office to Northern Ireland under the National Transfer Scheme.  

The Illegal Migration Act prevents individuals who arrive in a dangerous manner into the UK from ever being able to advance a claim for international protection.  It was this Act that was the target of the instant challenge.  

Today, the High Court has found that this act results in a ‘diminution of rights’ for the ‘whole of the community in Northern Ireland’.   

Mr Justice Humphreys was clear:

“This does not represent the will of the Courts, but this represents the will of Parliament.”

Sinead Marmion, Head of Immigration and Asylum at Phoenix Law and solicitor for JR295 outside Court said:

“The Good Friday Agreement has always been a beacon of human rights protections and hope.  Today, the Court through the Northern Ireland Protocol, has ensured those rights apply to the whole community – including Asylum seekers.  

This runs contrary to the negative and toxic rhetoric peddled by the government against those seeking international protection. 

This Judgment sends a clear message to the Government.  Not only will Asylum seekers be welcome in Northern Ireland, but they will also be legally protected. 

Today, marks the beginning of the end of the British Government’s flagship campaign to enact illegal and immoral laws with the sole purpose of frustrating and demolishing international human rights protections.”  

JR295 was a Judicial Review Challenge issued alongside an application brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.


For Press Enquiries, please contact Ms Sinead Marmion on: or on 07515516996.

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