Torture definition ruled unlawful

Hundreds of torture victims have been wrongly locked up in immigration detention centres, the High Court ruled.

In the case brought by seven survivors and charity Medical Justice, Mr Justice Ouseley ruled that the definition of torture used in the Home Office policy, Adults at risk, was too narrow and lacked a ‘rational or evidence base’. The policy limited torture to cover acts carried out by official state agents.

As a result, many individuals who had suffered at the hands of traffickers and other abusers, and where doctors had provided evidence that they had been tortured, were wrongly held in detention, adding to their trauma.

The Home Office, which said it will not appeal the decision, could now face dozens of claims from those unlawfully detained.

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