Updates, commentary and advice on immigration and asylum law
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What is the legal meaning of “refugee”?

This week is Refugee Week. The Free Movement blog is about communicating complex legal issues in immigration and asylum law in a clear way so I have amended and republishing this blog post explaining what a refugee actually is in legal terms. I have also collected together some of our previous blog posts about asylum issues. I hope you find it useful and interesting! I am also making my refugee law ebook freely available for this week. The ebook is a detailed examination of refugee law as it is understood and practiced in the UK. Use code “refugeeweek” as you are making a purchase and a 100% discount will be…

19th June 2017 By Colin Yeo

Supreme Court rules “deport first, appeal later” is unfair and unlawful

In R (Kiarie and Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 42 the Supreme Court has struck down “deport first, appeal later” certificates for two foreign criminals. The Home Office had made use of new rules in the Immigration Act 2014 which force some appellants to leave the UK before their appeal takes place, meaning that they are not present to give evidence. Of 1,175 cases in which these powers have so far been used, only 72 individuals attempted to pursue an appeal from abroad. None succeeded. The “deport first, appeal later” rules were originally applied only to foreign criminals facing deportation. However, the Immigration Act…

14th June 2017 By Colin Yeo

What does the Democratic Unionist Party think about immigration?

Picking through varous manifestos and public statements of the Democratic Unionist Party and its leading members reveals a few clues about the stance of the party on immigration issues. This may prove critical in the lifetime of the coming Government — whether that be days, weeks or months — because it is only with the support of the DUP that any new immigration legislation can be passed and the support of the DUP may be crucial if challenges are brought to immigration rules and regulations laid before Parliament. Before going further, though, bear in mind that immigration law is not a devolved issue so it is not something that parties…

13th June 2017 By Colin Yeo

Tier 2: is it Brexit ready?

Tier 2 is a fortress. Everything about the UK work permit system is designed to disincentivise employers importing migrant labour from outside of the EU. Like a teacher who has lost control of her class at school and exacts revenge on her own children at home, who are occasionally fed and kept in the basement, the Tier 2 system controls what it can. For the time being, this does not include the number of workers who may enter to work from Europe. At last count, 2.24 million European Economic Area (EEA) nationals are employed in the UK without let or hindrance, with no need to obtain permission from the Home Office…

12th June 2017 By Nick Nason

Zimbabwean national unlawfully detained after Home Office fails to serve immigration decision

Substantial damages of £10,500 have been awarded to a claimant who was unlawfully detained for a period of 70 days. The Home Office had failed to serve the Claimant with notice of a decision on his application to vary his leave to remain in the UK before detaining him, rendering his detention unlawful. The case is R (on the application of) Godwin Chaparadza v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 1209 (Admin). Background The Claimant, a Zimbabwean national, entered the UK on 5 September 2004 with leave to remain as a student. His leave to remain was extended on a number of occasions, the last such extension…

7th June 2017 By Rebecca Carr

UK unlawfully denies transfer to UK of refugees living for 18 years in Cyprus British Sovereign Base

R (Bashir) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 397 The British Sovereign Base Areas (“SBAs”) are small British-run areas on the Cyprus islands that survived the former colony’s independence. The Home Office has taken the position for a number of years that the Refugee Convention does not apply there. The Court of Appeal has unanimously held that in doing so, then-Home Secretary Theresa May acted unlawfully in denying refugees from the SBAs access to the UK. Background facts The claimants had been rescued from a fishing boat in the Mediterranean in 1998. They had been taken to one of the British Sovereign Base Areas in…

6th June 2017 By Thomas Beamont
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