Campaigners have warned that 300 asylum seekers face being made homeless after a court ruled that lock-change evictions were legal.

Appeal judges yesterday upheld a legal ruling which concluded that it was lawful for housing firm Serco to evict tenants in Glasgow who have been refused refugee status.

Last night campaigners called the ruling “deeply disappointing”.

Campaigners have warned that 300 asylum seekers face being made homeless

Fiona McPhail, principal solicitor of Shelter Scotland, said: “We now face a situation where around 300 people will be at risk of summary eviction, with no right to homeless assistance or no right to work to earn their own income to cover rent, meaning there is a high risk they will end up on the streets of Glasgow.

“Our clients are continuing to progress their asylum claims and cannot return to their country of origin.

“The finding that Serco is not a public authority and therefore does not need to comply with the Human Rights Act is deeply concerning.

“It’s the state that has the statutory obligation to accommodate asylum seekers – if by privatising those services, the state can avoid its obligations under human rights law.

“This sets a dangerous precedent.”

 

The Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian, and Lord Drummond Young and Lord Malcolm refused to overturn a decision made at the Court of Session.

Advocate Mungo Bovey QC told the judges that Lord Tyre had misinterpreted the law when he ruled on the matter in April, in a case brought by solicitors acting for Kurdish-Iraqi asylum seeker Shakar Ali.

Her lawyers had argued that Serco – which has been contracted by the Home Office to carry out the evictions – contravened asylum seekers’ human rights.

However, Lord Tyre rejected the case. And yesterday, Lady Dorrian ruled that his findings were correct. She wrote: “The reclaiming motion at the instance of the reclaimer must fail.”

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