Credit: Viktor Hanacek

The fight goes on

Colin Yeo —  — 2 Comments

To those of us in favour of a No vote for unity and solidarity, the result of the Scottish referendum is a huge relief. My own sentiments were a mixture of emotion and fear. As the child of a Scottish mother and English father I have been raised to be British, never English or Scottish. I was proud to wear my kilt at my wedding and have many relatives and friends on both sides of the border. I would have been entitled to Scottish citizenship had the vote gone the other way. At the same time, I have been shaped primarily by the English education system and experience. I felt like my country and identity — one that I have always felt was by its very nature more inclusive than mere Englishness or Scottishness — was about to disappear.

I was also hugely fearful that progressive forces in the remainder of the United Kingdom would be massively and perhaps fatally wounded by separation from our Scottish comrades. Independence for Scotland would have unleashed quiescent but nasty English nationalism and consigned the vulnerable in the remainder of the United Kingdom to ever more miserable lives.

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Dublin, a beautiful, thriving city that is sick of being associated with Italy’s inability to house refugees. Image by Roberto Taddeo, on Flickr

The Court of Appeal yesterday gave judgment in Tabrizagh and others, the application for permission to appeal from the decision of Laing J. The written judgment is not available yet but will be soon.

It’s hard not to be depressed by the judgment, in which the recently elevated Sharp LJ and Underhill LJ refused permission to appeal. There is some comfort in the “clarification” of what Laing J meant in her exposition of the test for a breach of Article 3 ECHR. The Court effectively restored the Supreme Court’s view, without finding that Laing J even arguably erred, by means of an impressive feat of intellectual gymnastics. It is hard to believe that the findings of Laing J as regards the duties to be owed to beneficiaries of international protection will not be the subject of further challenge. Continue Reading…

Visa denied

This should be made mandatory reading for all Home Office immigration employees. Apparently it was trending on Twitter in Kenya it has struck such a chord. UPDATE: Mr Biko has been offered a meeting at the British High Commission.

Upper Tribunal immigration judge recruitment drive

So the Judicial Appointments Commission is seeking to recruit “up to 20″ fee paid Deputy Judges of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber and six salaried Judges of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber. The former are paid £595 per day for up to 30 days per year. The latter are paid £130,875.

Applications close noon 30 September 2014 if you are interested!

It seems all but certain that statutory appeal rights are to be curtailed from October 2014, and these new judges should be available as the corresponding increase in judicial review applications starts to take effect.

Free Movement podcast

Welcome to the August 2014 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. As normal, the material for the podcast is drawn from blog posts on Free Movement. There was a huge amount of important new material on the blog in August so I’ve had to be selective in what to cover this month.

I concentrate on the commencement of the statutory human rights considerations and accompanying immigration rule and Home Office policy changes. There are a few other things I mention at the end as well, including the likely date for the commencement of the new highly restricted appeals regime. The material follows the order of links to content below.
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Coming back from my break and looking through various updates, I was struck by a series of articles on citizenship and nationality laws in the event of Scottish independence following the vote this Thursday. Some of these seem to me fundamentally to misunderstand the independence process as it is likely to operate. Citizens of a newly independent Scotland would not generally retain British citizenship: that is the whole point of independence, after all. However, some Scots would qualify for dual citizenship of the new Scotland and the remainder or rest of the UK (‘rUK’).

In an article by Nick Barber appearing on the UK Constitutional Law Association blog and on the Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum it is suggested that Scots would be forced by rUK to make a choice between citizenship of rUK and citizenship of the new Scotland, and that dual citizenship would not be available. This seems to me to be extremely unlikely and to be based on a fundamental misunderstanding.

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coffee grounds

In a fresh batch of cases from the reporting committee, two of those cases address the question of how grounds should be drafted, what constitutes an error of law and when permission should be granted. One of the cases concerns an appeal by a claimant and the other an appeal by the Home Office.

There is an interesting difference between the cases. In the first, VHR (unmeritorious grounds) Jamaica [2014] UKUT 367 (IAC), the judge admonishes the lawyers for mounting challenges. In the other, Nixon (permission to appeal: grounds) [2014] UKUT 368 (IAC) the judge states that the tribunal will deal robustly with deficient grounds. Continue Reading…

UK EU flags

Some European Union member states are anxious that their own citizens should not circumvent their own sometimes very tough immigration rules by relying instead on EU free movement law. The UK is one such, and has been right from the start. At paragraph 24 of Surinder Singh itself, the court said as follows:

As regards the risk of fraud referred to by the United Kingdom, it is sufficient to note that, as the Court has consistently held, … the facilities created by the Treaty cannot have the effect of allowing the persons who benefit from them to evade the application of national legislation and of prohibiting Member States from taking the measures necessary to prevent such abuse.

EU law states that it does not extend to cover abuse. But what constitutes abuse in EU law? Continue Reading…

International arrivals

In July the High Court awarded an Indian lady, Radha Patel, £125,000 in damages for her treatment by immigration officials on and after arrival as a family visitor. The case is Radha Naran Patel v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 501 (Admin) and it is extremely long judgment and has received mainstream press coverage, so I am not going to go over the full details here. As an interesting case I want to make sure I can easily find it in future, though, and that is as ever my main criterion for adding material to Free Movement.

It is an interesting one as it involves stark findings of dishonesty and manufacture of evidence by senior immigration officials.

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Anxious scrutiny has been given the expert report from [name of expert]. It is noted that the report was produced for your solicitor “under her instruction” to aid your asylum claim. It is therefore not objective information and it is clear you were not subject to the cross examination that you underwent during your asylum appeal … The various sections of objective evidence raised in the report are also noted but do not relate to you personally.

Reasons for Refusal Letter, 11 December 2013