Sheona York is a qualified solicitor, appointed to the Kent Law Clinic in 2012 to a new post funded by a consortium of philanthropic funders, to undertake Clinic casework, teaching, research and policy work in immigration and asylum. The funding has been continued for another 3 years, Sheona’s post has now been made permanent, and she has been promoted to Reader. She supervises Clinical Option module and Immigration and Asylum Law module students in casework assessed for academic credit, and works with the student-organised Asylum and Immigration Team on wider immigration and asylum issues. She is a regular speaker at local public meetings on changes in immigration law and EU rights, hot topics in Kent, and at academic conferences on a widening range of immigration issues. Sheona will publish shortly on access to article 8 ECHR, removability of unlawful migrants and the fate of long-resident foreign prisoners. The challenge in immigration and asylum law is to continue to develop effective legal remedies for migrants, in the context of the government’s ‘hostile environment’ and the visibly increasing desperation for migrants in the UK and further afield.
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Before joining the Clinic Sheona worked at Hammersmith & Fulham Community Law Centre for almost 30 years. At the Law Centre Sheona carried out strategic litigation in housing (estate-based disrepair, homelessness), other public law challenges (Hammersmith Broadway, Fulham Power Station), asylum support (in 1996 under the National Assistance Act 1948 and in 2003 under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002) as well as important immigration cases, and the first legal case ever, anywhere, in any context, involving DNA fingerprinting, recently featured in the ITV docudrama Code of a Killer. From 2009 Sheona then worked as Principal Legal Officer at the Immigration Advisory Service, which until bankruptcy in 2011 was the second biggest not-for-profit legal aid provider of immigration and asylum advice in England and Wales, acting for around 10,000 clients every year. Besides her own legal cases, including a number of urgent judicial review injunctions against immigration removals, Sheona supervised 2 cases in the European Court of Justice, one of them, NS, being the largest case that that Court had dealt with, with 17 Member States intervening in the litigation.
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
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EW v SSHD  EWCA Civ 508, on whether removal of an asylum-seeker to Italy under the Dublin Regulation would breach art 3 ECHR (we lost, but a recent case won on the evidence and arguments we put in 2010)
MS, AR & FW  EWCA Civ 1310 on appeal from Rabah & others  EWHC 1044 (Admin) on whether it was unlawful not to grant leave to remain to a person who is not foreseeably removable from the UK
McCarthy (European citizenship)  EUECJ C-434/09 on whether a dual British/Irish citizen could avail herself of EU law without having exercised free movement
NS (European Union law)  EUECJ C-411/1 (the CJEU hearing on whether removal of an asylum-seeker to Greece would breach his art 3 rights
WR (DRC) and AR (Afghanistan)  EWCA Civ 1495, on appeal from Rahimi v SSHD  EWHC 2838 (referred to Sheona by Kent Law Clinic!). This still set out the test of whether further submissions amount in law to a ‘fresh claim for asylum’ which will attract a right of appeal.
Abdulrahman Mohamed v The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham  UKHL 57 on whether temporary accommodation for asylum-seekers could give rise to a local connection under homelessness law
S & Ors, R (on the application of) v SSHD  EWHC 1941 (Admin) (on whether a failure to grant asylum support for someone who ‘did not claim as soon as reasonably practicable’ would breach art 3 ECHR) ? one of the cases which led to Limbuela  UKHL 66. During 2003 Hammersmith law Centre took fully 10% of the injunctions issued in the High Court on that issue.
[Following the Law Centre’s victory in S & Ors  EWCA civ 1157, on appeal from S & Ors  EWHC 1111, I was interviewed by Eddie Mair on PM, and also on the 10 O’clock News, and Home Secretary David Blunkett reputedly asked: ‘Who are Hammersmith Law Centre?’]
1996: about 30 successful injunctions against LB Hammersmith & Fulham Council for destitute asylum-seekers under the National Assistance Act 1948: these injunctions contributed to national pressure eventually leading to the setting up of the National Asylum Support Service to provide accommodation and subsistence to all asylum-seekers.
1983-5 Sarbah v SSHD, unreported in any legal case reports, but the first legal case anywhere, in any context, using DNA fingerprinting, see http://dnafingerprinting19.tripod.com/id14.html and also Code of a Killer, ITV April 2015
1980’s: Council estate-wide litigation pursued by Hammersmith Law Centre forced the renovation of an entire estate (Fulham Court, London SW6)
1982 Injunction obtained against the Health and Safety Executive for allowing dangerous asbestos extraction from Fulham Power Station