Places of detention are the hidden spaces in our society… They are places where communication is restricted, rights and freedoms are curtailed, where isolation from loved ones is a fact of life, and where the toll of detention can have an impact on people’s mental and physical wellbeing. For anyone who has been detained by the State, it is a profoundly life-altering experience.

(Brook House Inquiry Report, Vol. 1, p.1)


On Tuesday 29 November 2023, the APPG on Immigration Detention – for which Medical Justice provides the secretariat – and APPG on Migration jointly held a briefing for Members on the Brook House Inquiry Report, with the Chair of the Inquiry, Ms Kate Eves.

The Brook House Inquiry is the first ever statutory inquiry on immigration detention in the UK. Set up to investigate abuse revealed by the BBC at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in 2017, the Inquiry has also gathered evidence on the systemic failings – in terms of policies, practice, and culture – which allowed that abuse to occur.

The Chair of the Inquiry, Ms Kate Eves, published her final report in September 2023. Its carefully evidenced analysis shines a vital light into the “hidden space” of immigration detention.

Many of the problems identified within the report are continuing today across the UK’s detention system. It is crucial reading for anyone seeking to understand the ongoing failures in detention, their devasting effect on detained individuals, and what needs to change.

The joint APPG event was an opportunity for Members to learn more about the important issues raised in the Inquiry’s final report, and to assess its implications for the use and operation of immigration detention in the UK going forward. Members also discussed ways to raise awareness of the Report in Parliament, and to monitor government implementation of its recommendations.


Access a full copy of the meeting minutes here.


The Inquiry Report and APPG event have come at a particularly salient time, with the Illegal Migration Act 2023 granting the Home Secretary even greater powers to detain individuals, including children, whilst at the same time dramatically reducing the avenues available to people to challenge their detention. Alongside these legislative changes, the Home Office has also announced plans to significantly expand the detention estate – including increasing capacity at current sites and opening new ones. Based on these developments, it appears that the government going forward intends to detain greater numbers of people under immigration powers in the UK, for longer periods of time.

Additional links of interest:

  • Further correspondence published by the Inquiry can be accessed here.