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False imprisonment

Leigh Day represents individuals who wish to challenge the lawfulness of their detention, both with a view to being released and to secure compensation.

We have experience in claims for breach of the tort of false imprisonment, human rights claims for violation of the right to liberty, judicial review challenges to decision to detain and habeas corpus proceedings. These claims are most often brought against the Home Office, local authorities or hospitals. The ability to challenge the lawfulness of a decision to detain has long been recognised by the Courts as an important constitutional safeguard of an individual’s right to freedom. Leigh Day understand the devastating impact unlawful detention can have on an individual and their family, even if the detention is only for a short period.

In recent years Leigh Day have represented individuals in a variety of cases and successfully obtained compensation for court clients as well as securing their release. We have specific experience in bringing these claims for individuals in immigration detention, although we are unable to assist with bail applications. False imprisonment claims often arise in the context of immigration detention against the Home Office; however they may also arise where individuals are locked in a hospital ward, or placed in a care home against their will when they are unable to leave. The key question is whether in reality an individual has been deprived of their freedom, and this can arise even in the absence of physical or chemical restraints. Leigh Day has acted for clients with false imprisonment claims arising out of forced stays in hospitals and/or residential units.

Examples of our work include:

  • Acting for minors whose age was disputed by the Home Office and who were detained unlawfully, securing release from detention and obtaining damages
  • Acting for foreign national prisoners held in long terms immigration detention following completion of their sentences pending deportation and securing their release.

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