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Jane Coker became a salaried Upper Tribunal Judge, Immigration and Asylum Chamber (UT (IAC)) in 2011 and is based in London. She was fee-paid and Salaried Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, a Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge and a solicitor.
“UT(IAC) is the senior specialist tribunal hearing immigration and asylum judicial reviews and statutory appeals. It decides some 12,000 immigration and asylum judicial reviews annually. More than half all judicial reviews in England and Wales each year are heard in UT(IAC); about 95% of all immigration and asylum reviews.
“Included in judicial reviews are cases where applicants face imminent removal; they’re called immediates. Every day at least one UT(IAC) judge has the task of deciding urgent, paper ex parte applications for an injunction to prevent removal from the UK either later that day or in the very near future. This work was previously done by the High Court. The immediates work is especially pressurised, given the need for a very quick decision, the absence of any counter-argument from the Home Office, the frequently sizeable amount of documentation and the potential consequences of a refusal. If there is a refusal the application can be renewed orally to a UT(IAC) judge, again usually on very little notice and very urgently.
“In exercising its judicial review function, UT(IAC) applies the same practice and procedure as the High Court: judges are expected to give ex tempore judgments, mirroring the High Court.
“UT(IAC) is now also required to decide disputed age judicial reviews. These were previously decided exclusively by the High Court. These trials usually take from 2 to 4 days with a reasoned written decision handed down shortly after.
“UT(IAC) also hears thousands of statutory appeals. The jurisdiction is complex, changes frequently and includes cases involving the deportation of foreign criminals, children separated from parents and allegations of torture. Following the abolition of many statutory appeal rights to the First-tier Tribunal the only remaining challenge for many individuals is a judicial review. UT (IAC) has a key role in providing a precedent setting system of case law for decision makers and other courts, as well as providing detailed, binding and internationally approved country guidance decisions in asylum cases.”