Freight News, Road

Judgement reserved in illegal migrant case

[ March 22, 2016   //   ]

The Lord justices hearing two cases brought by haulage firms challenging Home Office fines for having illegal migrants on board have reserved judgement and are expected to make a combined judgment was expected in about the first week of April, said the legal representative of one of the companies.
The two firms – one Romanian and one Dutch – took separate cases to the Court of Appeal this week to challenge the legality of the system. Solicitor Richard Tinkler, which represented the Dutch firm, were held back to back on 16-17 March before the Court of Appeal.
The first concerned a Romanian Transport company and then, on 17 March, Tinkler’s client, Bolle Transport. Richard Tinkler said: “The Lord justices have reserved judgement meaning that we will receive a combined detailed written judgment in about 2-3 weeks time – that is, about the first week of April.”
The trucking firms want the fines cancelled and Home Office guidelines rewritten.
Solicitor Rupinder Matharu, from the firm MTG, which is representing the Romanian company, argued that the firm followed all the Home Office guidelines on security including having copy of the guidelines translated into Romanian, checking the truck three times before arriving in Calais and not stopping close to the port
Ms Matharu said many foreign-based operators often settle fines without challenging them.
Netherlands-based haulier Bolle picked up a sealed container from Frankfurt airport in 2013 and transported it to Berkshire, where six illegal migrants were found inside.
The court has agreed to hear the case acknowledging that it “raised important questions of principle”.
The cases are the first of their kind since 2002 that have been raised in the Court of Appeal.

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