Connie Sozi

Connie Sozi

Background

Connie is a partner. She joined us in August 2014. Prior to that Connie worked at Asylum Aid from 2006 to 2014; Bindman & Partners from 2004 to 2006 and two other legal aid practices before that, where she represented claimants in asylum, immigration and human rights applications, appeals and judicial reviews.

She was called to the Bar in 2006 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2011. She is an accredited Level 2 Supervisor under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme.

Connie obtained her LLB at London South Bank University. She has a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Economic Law, Justice and Development from Birkbeck College, University of London.

She is the beneficiary of a Louise Arbour Scholarship from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (University of London), to undertake a PhD of which she is currently in the final stages. The PhD is a legal analysis of Kenya’s indigenous communities’ land rights under Kenya’s 2010 Constitution, its attendant laws, the framework under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’  Rights and the sub-region’s East African Community Treaty.

Expertise

Judicial review
Connie acts for claimants in a wide-range of judicial review cases relating to:

  • Unlawful detention of non-British and British nationals
  • National security (reviews to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC)
  • Windrush/hostile environment
  • Trafficking and modern slavery
  • EU certification of deportation decisions
  • Removals
  • Asylum claim certifications
  • British passport application refusals/withdrawals
  • Wider-immigration-policy decisions
  • Discrimination under the Equality Act

Private law compensation claims
Connie has also successfully represented claimants in compensation claims against public authorities. A great number of her cases have settled at pre-action stage or prior to trial with significant damages for her clients.
She is currently acting for a number of Windrush migrants in their compensation claims against the Home Office and Local Authorities.

International law 
Connie has acted for claimants in requests for investigation by the UK Government into torture allegations abroad. She is interested in international human rights-related claims and grievances against State Nations, Corporate Bodies and International Financial Institutions. She has extensive knowledge, based on her academic pursuits, on claims under the African Charter mechanism and East African Community sub-regional framework; the World Bank’s grievance redress mechanism and UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies’ complaints procedures.

Sample Cases

Judicial reviews: pre-action and court issued claims

R (MG) v SSHD- Successful judicial review in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber’s (Upper Tribunal) against a decision not to grant 30 months’ leave under Paragraph 399B of the Immigration Rules following a successful deportation appeal.

R (LP) v SSHD- Successful EU Rough sleeping policy and unlawful detention claim. Damages awarded.

R(OH) v SSHD- Successful challenge against a negative trafficking decision under the Home Office’s National Referral Mechanism.

R (OF) v SSHD- Successful unlawful detention and section 4 bail address delay High Court claim. Damages awarded.

R (GZ) v SSHD- Successful High Court review and Court of Appeal application against EU removal and certification of deportation decision. Damages awarded.

R (SJ) v SSHD- Successful Upper Tribunal claim against removal and certification of deportation decision.

R (HS) v SSHD- Successful Upper Tribunal claim against removal and asylum claim certification under §96(2) of the Nationality, Asylum and Immigration Act 2002.

R (AS) v SSHD- Successful Upper Tribunal claim against the rejection of an asylum fresh claim made under Paragraph 353 of the immigration rules.

R (ME) v NHS Trust – Successful claim against the decision by a NHS Trust to unlawfully enforce a NHS debt after the expiry of the limitation period.

R(AOO) v SSHD- Successful claim against decision not to waive immigration fees under the Home Office’s fee waiver policy.

HN v HMPO- Successful pre-action challenge against the withdrawal of a British passport application by the Passport Office.

SIAC reviews

MB v SSHD- Special Immigration Appeals Commission review against the refusal of a British citizenship application, by an Algerian national, on good character grounds.

False imprisonment claims: pre-action and court issued claims

TL v Home Office- EU rough sleeping migrant false imprisonment claim. Settled pre-action with damages award. (BBC news)

MI v Home Office- EU rough sleeping migrant false imprisonment claim. Settled pre-action with damages award.

SR v Home Office- EU rough sleeping migrant false imprisonment claim. Settled pre-action with damages award.

IM v Home Office- EU rough sleeping migrant false imprisonment claim. Settled pre-action with damages award.

EM v Home Office- Successful Detained Fast Track false imprisonment County Court claim. Damages awarded.

AM v Home Office- Successful false imprisonment and discrimination County Court claim. Substantial damages awarded.

Academia

Connie has appeared as a guest lecturer on the Institute of Commonwealth Studies’ ‘MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights’ course. In Autumn 2018 she will be a visiting lecturer at the University of Roehampton on the ‘LLM in Human Rights & Legal Practice: Human Rights Litigation & Social Change’ module. This focuses on strategic human rights litigation as a tool for social change advocacy.