Free Movement podcast

Welcome to the October 2014 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. As normal, the material for the podcast is drawn from blog posts on Free Movement for the month of October.

I start this month by going through some asylum updates, move on to some other important cases and then finish with important changes to immigration appeals and a few policy updates from the Home Office and some thoughts on the significance of the 7 year residence period for children set out in the rules. Continue Reading…

cabbage field

The case of R (on the application of Muwonge) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (consent orders: costs: guidance) (IJR) [2014] UKUT 514 (IAC) makes for interesting law and interesting reading. It is, apart from anything, the first case I can immediately recall featuring a Prologue, a section entitled The Plot and and an Epilogue and which opens and closes with quotation from Hamlet. More importantly for litigants in person and claimant lawyers, though, it should put an end to dodgy dealing by Treasury Solicitors when it comes to costs. Continue Reading…

rule

The First-tier Tribunal now has a new set of procedure rules: the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014, which came into force on 20 October 2014.

The Rules are streamlined in some parts and the overriding objective is modified to emphasise fairness and justice more than speed. Case management powers are stated more generally, in line with the objective of flexibility.

Appellants and their representatives should pay careful attention to the changes, especially as non-compliance can now result in a trip to the Upper Tribunal or an order for costs. Time limits have also changed.

Some of the changes will in most cases be of benefit to Appellants: the rule on adjournments is now less restrictive, Appellants have longer to appeal both to the First-tier and Upper Tribunals, and the Secretary of State is no longer necessarily able to thwart an appeal by withdrawing the decision appealed against.

A comparison table between the old and new rules is available at the end of this blog post.

Continue Reading…

wikipedia

East of England Ambulance Service Nhs Trust v Sanders (Practice and Procedure) [2014] UKEAT 0217/14/1710 is an interesting employment case involving a litigant in person via Neil Rose. I do not think it is at all unusual for immigration tribunal judges to conduct their own research and I’ve been presented by, for example, a Daily Mail article about a client’s relative by a judge on the morning of a hearing. There are obviously important differences between the employment and immigration jurisdictions and the role of the tribunal in each but nevertheless the issues around inquisitorial vs adversarial, descending into the arena and raising new issues of the tribunal’s own motion are all thought provoking.

The headnote reads:

Continue Reading…

By Rock Cohen

When the Grand Chamber handed down its judgment in Dano v Jobcenter Leipzig (C-333/13) on 11 November 2014, it was the subject of much media attention: Germany can deny benefits to jobless EU migrants, court rules (The Guardian), Landmark ECJ ruling boosts David Cameron’s bid to clamp down on EU benefit migrants (The Independent), EU court ruling backs curbs on ‘benefit tourism’ (BBC News) and The end for benefit tourism: European court rules unemployed EU migrants can be denied welfare payments (The Mirror).

Such media interest for a judgment of a Court of Justice of the European Union is unusual, and for cases on social security it is practically unheard of. But the reason for the interest is obvious. The restriction of benefits paid to migrants from the European Union has been a major issue on the Government’s political agenda for most of 2014: see The political row over benefits and EU migrants (Free Movement). Clearly the Grand Chamber judgment in Dano has legal significance, but are the newspaper headlines about its impact – ‘the end for benefit tourism’ etc – accurate? In order to answer that question, the best place to start is with the judgment.

Continue Reading…

Ukpassport-cover

The Supreme Court will today hear a case, Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) v B2 (Appellant), concerning the definition of statelessness in international law and in which the Secretary of State’s power under section 40 (2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 to deprive a naturalised British citizen of that status will be examined. The case could determine the limits of the Secretary of State’s power to deprive a person of British nationality. Continue Reading…

Pound Coins by William Warby

The Home Office often makes mistakes when exercising its immigration powers. The high appeal success rates bear testimony to this: as many as 50% of some categories of appeal are allowed. However, there are only some limited circumstances where it is possible to extract compensation from the Home Office by means of a court case. Unlawful detention is one example and retention of a passport can be another but pursuing a case is fraught with difficulty and risk. What about other situations, such as loss of documents, mistaken identity, ruining a wedding based on duff “intelligence” or getting a sponsor licence decision wrong?  Continue Reading…

Eliza Doolittle by George Luks 1908

SPRAKAB and anonymous evidence

Colin Yeo —  — 3 Comments

The Independent reported at the end of last week that an “expert” linguist at controversial commercial linguistic analysis company SPRAKAB has lied about his qualifications and has a criminal conviction for smuggling drugs. It is rather questionable whether the “expert” testimony of such a person should be regarded as inherently reliable. The initial story was swiftly followed up with another reporting that the Home Office had quietly downgraded its use of SPRAKAB over the summer.

This story has prompted me to carry out a much delayed write up of the Supreme Court case of Secretary of State for Home Department v MN and KY (Scotland) [2014] UKSC 30. Continue Reading…

IMG_0350

Back in 2006, even before this blog first began and in the aftermath of his predecessor’s resignation, then Home Secretary John Reid declared that his department was “not fit for purpose”. A huge backlog of some half a million cases had been uncovered and the department would aim to deal with this “legacy”, one way or another, within five years. Since then the immigration functions of the Home Office have been farmed out to a separate agency, brought back in house and, as with its malformed parent, the Legacy somehow staggers on like an extra in a bad zombie flick. Plus ça change. Continue Reading…

Plane taking off

In Tarakhel v Switzerland [2014] ECHR 1185 (04 November 2014) the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) has issued its long-awaited decision as to the lawfulness of returning asylum seekers to Italy, a subject that has engaged the refugee lawyers of Europe for some years. The ECtHR rules that individualised enquiries leading to individual assurances will be necessary in the case of child returnees including families with children. Continue Reading…