Alternatives to Indefinite Immigration Detention Event 6 June 2019

This is the third annual immigration seminar organised by Migrants Organise and UCL Centre for Access to Justice.

Registration and venue details are on the Eventbrite page here.

Immigration detention refers to the practice of holding people who are subject to immigration control in custody, while they wait for permission to enter or before they are deported or removed from the country. Access to meaningful legal representation is particularly difficult for migrants in detention. Unlike most other European countries, there is no time limit on immigration detention in the UK.

Home Office policy says that detention must be used sparingly and for the shortest possible period. However, detention is the norm rather than the exception: many thousands are held each year, and some for very lengthy periods, causing serious mental distress.

This high profile talk will discuss alternatives to detention, detention policy in the UK and in Europe, as well as research into alternatives to onerous immigration bail conditions, highlighting some of the present issues and challenges as well as the way forward.


Stephanie Harrison QC, Garden Court Chambers, Stephanie has a vast experience in the most complex immigration and asylum claims. Her expertise spans the areas of deprivation and refusals to citizenship and naturalization, fresh and certified claims for asylum, detention and conditions of detention, challenges to deportation and cases involving national security.

Stephanie’s recent immigration practice has focused more heavily on policy challenges and often have a large crossover with her other specialisms including public law, civil liberties and equality and discrimination. She has led a number of high-profile judicial review challenges to the lawfulness of policy and practice relating to the detention of vulnerable adults, families and children in the detained fast track and immigration detention generally.

Eiri Ohtani, Project Director, The Detention Forum, Eiri works as a strategy and advocacy consultant in the migration and asylum field. Her portfolio includes working for both UK and international NGOs and UN institutions, including European Platform for Integration and Migration (EPIM), UNHCR, Detention Forum, Right to Remain, Justice 4 Domestic Workers and Tunisian Initiative for Freedom of Expression (TIFE). Eiri’s recent thematic focus has been immigration detention and alternatives to detention. She directs the Detention Forum (UK) and has previously worked at the International Detention Coalition as Europe Regional Co-ordinator.

Bella Sankey, Director, Detention Action, Bella joined Detention Action in 2018, having previously worked at Liberty and Reprieve. She oversees Detention Action’s work in providing support for people in detention and in campaigning for fundamental reform.

Kama Petruczenko, Advocacy Network Co-ordinator, Refugee Council, Kama Petruczenko joined the Refugee Council in August 2017. She co-ordinates the Advocacy Network, the charity’s advocacy and engagement project. She previously worked on the pro bono tribunal representation project at the Asylum Support Appeal Project and has been an immigration and welfare benefits adviser at Consonant, formerly Migrant Resource Centre. Before coming to the UK, Kama worked on human rights campaigns, education and advocacy for international and grass-root NGOs.

Panel event and Q&A 18.00 – 20.00 taking place in the GIDEON SCHREIER LECTURE THEATRE

Reception 20.00 – 21.00

If you have any inquiries about the event, please contact Brian Dikoff at

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