All Articles: Asylum

When is a policy not a policy? Tribunal tackles law on disclosure

BH (policies/information: SoS’s duties) Iraq [2020] UKUT 189 (IAC) was the case of an Iraqi Kurd, heard by the Upper Tribunal sitting in Edinburgh. The issue was whether the First-tier Tribunal judge had erred in law because he had not considere ...

22nd June 2020 By

Refugee Week: asylum in the UK, by numbers

Refugee Week 2020Infogram This week is Refugee Week. From 15-21 June 2020, the UK celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. Our small contribution to that aim is above. The infogr ...

17th June 2020 By

Comment: survivors of torture are let down by the asylum interview

The Windrush scandal first made headlines in 2018, but the Home Office is now facing intensified public scrutiny over its role in mistakes that caused profound suffering for so many members of the Windrush generation. Calls for accountability have gai ...

16th June 2020 By

Worrying Strasbourg decision on sending asylum seekers back to Sudan

In SA v The Netherlands (application no. 49773/15), the European Court of Human Rights has issued a judgment which should concern those representing Sudanese asylum seekers. It is not a Grand Chamber decision and the main point of contention was the c ...

16th June 2020 By

What is the legal definition of a “refugee”?

This week is Refugee Week. On Free Movement we try to communicate complex legal issues in immigration and asylum law in a clear way and here we answer the question “what is a refugee?” Before we get to that, we have loads of content about ...

15th June 2020 By

The Refugee Convention: who are refugees and asylum seekers?

This piece is about refugees, asylum seekers, and the Refugee Convention. It outlines who can be a refugee, and how being a refugee and having “refugee status” are two very different things. We also explore the rights and entitlements avai ...

5th June 2020 By

No European Convention on Human Rights jurisdiction over humanitarian visa refusal

The European Court of Human Rights has declined an invitation to extend the jurisdiction of the Convention to cover applications made for a visa to enter a given country and claim asylum. In M.N. and Others v. Belgium (application no. 3599/18), the St ...

4th June 2020 By

The government’s stance on Vietnamese trafficking victims is misconceived

Asylos and ARC Foundation recently released a new report, Vietnam: Returned victims of trafficking, about the risks of re-trafficking, state protection and internal relocation for Vietnamese victims of trafficking returned from the UK. The report prov ...

3rd June 2020 By

Family court judge orders refugee to disclose her asylum records

The High Court has looked further at when details of an asylum claim can be shared in family proceedings. The judgment in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No. 2) [2020] EWHC 1036 (Fam) applies previously established principles to a part ...

27th May 2020 By

Luxembourg set to undermine Home Office position on clan protection in Somalia

A quick note on this Advocate General’s Opinion fresh from Luxembourg on the Qualification Directive. The case is C‑255/19 Secretary of State for the Home Department v OA. The Qualification Directive sets out the criteria for determining asylum cl ...

12th May 2020 By

Comment: UK-Greece migration pact does too little for refugee children

Greece and the UK have signed a new strategic action plan committing to further their cooperation on migration. It has gone largely unreported in mainstream media, but some Greek and English news outlets noted that the joint plan includes the reloca ...

11th May 2020 By

New Kabul country guidance: individualised assessment of relocation required

In AS (Safety of Kabul) Afghanistan CG [2020] UKUT 130 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal has approved its 2018 decision that a returning male in good health can safely and reasonably relocate to Kabul subject to individual factors. That decision had been set a ...

11th May 2020 By

New Dublin III policy brings significant changes for family reunification

On 30 April 2020 the Home Office published an updated policy on the Dublin III Regulation which has some significant changes for family reunification cases. The new policy includes updates on Article 9, Article 13.2 (entry and/or stay), Article 17.2 ( ...

5th May 2020 By

Asylum seeker to be sent back to Italy under Dublin III rules despite being interviewed in the UK

In R (Habte) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 967 (Admin), the High Court has decided that conducting a substantive asylum interview does not amount to assuming responsibility for the asylum claim under Article 17(1) of the Dub ...

28th April 2020 By

Fellow worshippers can’t give “expert evidence” on religious conversion, tribunal holds

Two important (but completely different) points arise from the Upper Tribunal’s decision in MH (review; slip rule; church witnesses) Iran [2020] UKUT 125 (IAC), one concerning religious conversion cases and the other concerning clerical errors in a ...

24th April 2020 By

Flawed Calais camp process didn’t breach human rights of children rejected

The Court of Appeal has returned to the legal issues arising from the closure of the Calais refugee camp in September 2016 and section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, which forced the Home Office to develop a process for admitting unaccompanied childr ...

15th April 2020 By

Home Office evicted asylum seeker with COVID-19 symptoms

The Home Office evicted an asylum seeker with mental health problems and symptoms of COIVD-19, leaving him on the streets for over a week, it has emerged. The man has since been rehoused by order of the High Court, but his lawyers say the incident is ...

9th April 2020 By

Ten-minute asylum interview enough to meet ECHR obligations before removal

In Asady and Others v Slovakia (application no. 24917/15) the European Court of Human Rights has delivered another judgment that will gratify governments seeking to use summary removal to get rid of asylum seekers. The decision continues the courtR ...

7th April 2020 By

Supreme Court says immigration tribunal can decide for itself if appellant was trafficked

In the case of MS (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 9, handed down today, the Supreme Court has confirmed that the immigration tribunal can and must decide for itself whether an appellant was a victim of trafficking. ...

18th March 2020 By

Writing incredibly credible statements: the key to winning your clients’ cases

In asylum and criminal deportation and probably all areas of immigration, credibility is the key. Some of my own techniques for building credibility into a statement include:  I “read” or “watch” the client’s narrative like a novel or a fil ...

10th March 2020 By

Removing Afghan Sikhs does not breach their Article 3 rights

The Sikh community in Afghanistan used to be a sizeable religious minority within that country, but the effect of persecution over the past 30 years has meant that 99% have now emigrated. The United Nations and other international observers estimate t ...

5th March 2020 By

Upper Tribunal grants refugee family reunion outside the Immigration Rules

KF et ors (entry clearance, relatives of refugees) Syria [2019] UKUT 413 (IAC) concerns an 18-year-old Syrian refugee sponsor, whose mother, father and younger siblings applied for family reunion with him. The key principles identified by the tribunal ...

3rd March 2020 By

The gospel according to Iran: new country guidance case on Christian converts

Over 11 years since the decision in SZ and JM (Christians – FS confirmed) Iran CG [2008] UKAIT 82, the Upper Tribunal has revisited the question of risk on return for certain groups of Christians in Iran. The result is PS (Christianity – risk) ...

27th February 2020 By

Vulnerable adults in the immigration tribunal

In SB (vulnerable adult: credibility) Ghana [2019] UKUT 398 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal has provided a steer on how immigration judges should approach evidence given by vulnerable adults, in addition to that provided in the Joint Presidential Guidance No ...

9th January 2020 By

New country guidance on Iraq

On 20 December 2019, the Upper Tribunal issued a new country guidance case on Iraq. This new case, SMO, KSP & IM (Article 15(c); identity documents) Iraq CG [2019] UKUT 400 (IAC), replaces all existing country guidance, including AA (Article 15(c) ...

8th January 2020 By

No absolute confidentiality for asylum information in family cases

The impact of disclosing information from family proceedings in immigration matters has been in the news of late but the reverse situation rarely arises. One such is the recent case of R v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Disclosure of Asyl ...

30th December 2019 By

Burden of proof on internal relocation still on appellant says Upper Tribunal

The Upper Tribunal has confirmed that it is for asylum seekers to disprove the possibility of safe and reasonable internal relocation if the Home Office identifies a potential safe haven. In MB (Internal relocation – burden of proof) Albania [2019] ...

23rd December 2019 By

When voluntary return is not voluntary at all

In recent years the United Kingdom government has resorted to indirect measures like the hostile environment to force people to leave the UK, alongside directly removing people. The government can then claim that the person left the UK voluntarily, an ...

20th December 2019 By

Delay policy leaving trafficking victims in limbo found unlawful

The High Court has declared that the Home Office policy of waiting until an asylum decision is made before considering whether to grant trafficking victims Discretionary Leave to Remain is unlawful. Under that policy, a recognised victim of human traf ...

11th December 2019 By

Avoiding the naughty step in Cart judicial review cases

On a warm summer’s day in late July, five sets of appellant lawyers found themselves in Court 4 of the Upper Tribunal in Field House, huddled together on what could only be characterised as “the naughty step”.  Unaware at the start of t ...

9th December 2019 By
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