Lumba v. Secretary of State for the Home Department

Lumba v. Secretary of State for the Home Department (2011) UKSC 12.  The Supreme Court considered the legality of detaining foreign nationals who had completed prison sentences for criminal offences, pending their deportation.  It was concluded that their detention was unlawful: the policy under which they had been detained had not been published and was inconsistent with published policy.  The tort of false imprisonment was satisfied: the appellants had been detained, and their detention had not rested on a lawful decision.  However, the appellants could have been detained lawfully for this period under the published policy, and, in consequence, were entitled to only nominal damages.  Lord Phillips, Lord Brown and Lord Rodger dissented in part, contending that the tort of false imprisonment was not made out where it was shown that a reasonable decision-maker, applying a lawful policy, would have detained the appellants.