11 Dec Windrush Judicial Review Heard in High Court
A judicial review trial is underway against the Government’s policy to apply the good character requirement to Windrush migrants applying to become British citizens. The policy is part of the Windrush Scheme, a Scheme that was set up by the Government to put right injustices the Windrush Generation have faced under the hostile environment.
The hostile environment, our client says, is not a new phenomenon but a historic and discriminatory one commencing in the 1980s with provisions in the British Nationality Act 1981 which created a time-limited window for those settled in the UK, from predominantly black and Asian ex-colonies, to register as British. Those from colonies with a predominant white population retained that right for life. Registration as a British citizen is not subject to fulfilment of the good character requirement.
Our client argues that the Government not only failed to properly advise those black and Asian settlers of their entitlement to register as British citizens but in some cases actively persuaded them not to do so on the basis that their rights would not be altered if they did not register. The Wendy Williams ‘Windrush Lessons Learned Review’ found that this was the case. The rationale for the Windrush Scheme to put right injustices coupled with the acceptance by the Government of the Wendy Williams’ review findings and recommendations should mean that the good character requirement should be waived and not applied to the Windrush Generation. Our client argues that to proceed otherwise is discriminatory.