In the Media

Jamie Beagent acting on behalf of detained torture victims

PUBLISHED May 31, 2012

Thursday 31 May 2012 by Jonathan Rayner

Who? Jamie Beagent, 36, public law solicitor at City firm Leigh Day.

Why is he in the news? He has begun judicial review proceedings on behalf of five overseas torture victims who, in contravention of government policy, have been detained under immigration powers. Beagent, who is working with immigration detainees' charity Medical Justice, said that it was 'shameful' that a second period of detention was being imposed. The Home Office said it is considering the applications for review.

Thoughts on the case: 'I am saddened, but not shocked. Immigration is an area of law with huge powers and the government is under pressure from sectors of the press and the public to be seen to be acting strongly. But it is wrong that the government can so arbitrarily and routinely breach its own stated policies and shameful that victims of torture are put through the horrendous experience of immigration detention.'

Why become a lawyer? 'I worked for a small local firm as a paralegal acting for asylum seekers and fell in love with the job.'

Career high: 'Acted for Binyam Mohamed, the British former Guantanamo Bay detainee. Sued for damages by Binyam, the British government was unwilling to defend itself by disclosing evidence in open court.

'This led to calls for the introduction of closed material proceedings, where even the accused would not hear the evidence against them.'

Career low: 'The first seat of my training contract - six months of very, very dry contract law.'

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