Archives For Asylum

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…

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

by SAM Nasim

Kent Law Clinic has published a new report, How Children Become Failed Asylum Seekers, which needs to be read by anyone representing children in asylum cases. Taking the files of 25 “failed asylum seekers” who had arrived in Kent as children, they reviewed the decision making process of the Home Office, the legal representation and the Tribunal’s consideration of any appeal in each case, as well as seeking to identify any further legal action which could be taken.

The research team found that the majority of the young people had been refused on credibility or plausibility grounds, but that many of those findings arose out of processes which have now been disallowed. Continue Reading…

The phased withdrawal of US forces has not led to a return to generalised sectarian conflict and indeed appears to have resulted in a significant annualised drop in the number of security incidents … the most likely development is that the levels of violence will either continue to reduce or remain at around the same level as in 2010, 2011 and the first 9 months of 2012.

HM and others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2012] UKUT 00409 (IAC)

Pinnochio by Grand Parc - Bordeaux, France

A fascinating study of power play and relationships inside and outside the hearing room has been published as a working paper by the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford: The culture of disbelief: an ethnographic approach to understanding an under-theorised concept in the UK asylum system by Jessica Anderson, Jeannine Hollaus, Annelisa Lindsay, Colin Williamson. I highly recommend taking a look. It provides that rare thing: a fresh, external view of the work of the immigration tribunal and the key actors, judges, representatives and appellants. Continue Reading…

Chelvan

In an e-mail posting on a practitioners’ discussion group last week, a representative asked the group for details of a psychiatrist in order to prove that the detained client is gay. In follow-up e-mails, it was revealed that the enquiry was prompted by Counsel’s advice, and that the author meant no offence. Luckily for the author of the enquiry, the Court of Justice of the European Union last Thursday published the Opinion of Advocate General Sharpston in the Cases of A, B and C , which relate to how an asylum seeker could establish that they are gay, or more importantly, what level of investigation would violate their human rights? Continue Reading…

Asylum Aid

Asylum Aid has published a new report, Even If… The use of the Internal Protection Alternative in asylum decisions in the UK, analysing the reasoning on internal protection or internal relocation in Home Office asylum decisions, identifying a number of failings appearing frequently in the decisions read for the research. To lawyers practising in asylum, the flaws in reasoning will be familiar, but it is useful to have this detailed analysis of patterns emerging from thematic analysis of a number of refusal letters. Continue Reading…

Gaddafi mural with bullet holes by mojomogwai, on Flickr

Nearly 3 years after the end of the civil war in Libya that swept away the Qadhafi regime and its associated country guidance, and after nearly 8 months of deliberation, the Upper Tribunal has decided that Libya isn’t so bad after all, at least for men. The determination of AT and Others (Article 15c; risk categories) (CG) [2014] UKUT 318 (IAC) runs to 261 paragraphs plus 8 appendices, and the tribunal is to be commended for its lucid treatment of a huge amount of evidence, delay (and some conclusions) notwithstanding. The hearing itself was notable for taking live videolink evidence from a country expert in New York City. Continue Reading…

By Metaforica (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In MF (Albania) v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 902, the Court of Appeal considered and upheld the criticisms of the appellant’s country expert made by the Upper Tribunal. In doing so, the Court appeared to disapprove of the practice of instructing expert witnesses to comment on particular findings made by decision-makers in reasons for refusal letters. Continue Reading…