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.
Archives For Asylum
In Tarakhel v Switzerland  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…
Want to know who might qualify as a refugee? What the legal requirements are? What reasons the Home Office relies on to refuse cases and what counter arguments are available? Who might be excluded from refugee status?
I have just finished a new ebook, this time on refugee law in the UK. It distils what I’ve learned in a decade and a half of fighting asylum cases. I hope it will be useful to lawyers and students. The contents page and first few pages can be downloaded by clicking the cover image and the whole lot can be purchased for £9.99 in the shop or with the button below.
It is intended to be an accessible guide to refugee law and practice. It focusses on the refugee definition at Article 1A of the Refugee Convention, addresses the Qualification Directive, includes references and links to important cases and Home Office policies and even includes some tastefully chosen pictures… I have included common arguments, scenarios and examples and it addresses the practical side of refugee status determination as much as the legal side.
The last part of the ebook looks at the cessation, exclusion and refoulement clauses of the convention.
Free Movement Members can purchase this and other ebooks for £1 in the Members’ Shop.
Today the Home Office has belatedly allowed publication of an investigation by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, into the assessment of asylum claims based on sexual identity. The report was handed to Theresa May on 31 July 2014 and it is today published alongside a document from the Home Office responding to and in large part accepting the recommendations in the report.
The immediate trigger of the investigation and report was an article by Mark Townsend and Diane Taylor in The Observer on 9 February 2014 which included details of some sexually explicit questions asked of a bisexual asylum seeker. The unacknowledged source for The Observer article was this blog. Continue Reading…
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.
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.