All Articles: Asylum

Refugee status can be taken away even if threat of persecution still looms

In Secretary of State for the Home Department v MS (Somalia) [2019] EWCA Civ 1345, the Court of Appeal has held that the Home Office can cease refugee status where there has been a change of circumstances in the refugee’s country of origin such ...

30th July 2019 By

Tribunal told to think again on exclusion from refugee status of Iraqi military doctor

The First-tier and Upper Tribunals seem to have gone rather badly wrong in the case of MAB (Iraq) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1253, involving an Iraqi doctor who was formerly employed to care for prisoners by Iraqi ...

22nd July 2019 By

Is “Tommy Robinson” entitled to refugee status and when is prosecution persecution?

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, Paul Harris or Tommy Robinson or whatever he calls himself today, has directly appealed to President Donald Trump to be granted asylum and evacuated to safety in the United States in an interview with notorious website Infowars. ...

10th July 2019 By

Court of Justice to rule on eviction of children from asylum shelters 

States have domestic and international legal obligations to provide suitable housing for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. But a vulnerable young client at the Refugee Legal Support (RLS) clinic in Athens was last month kicked out of his accommod ...

4th July 2019 By

Home Office ordered to bring Ugandan asylum seeker back to the UK five years after removal

The High Court has ordered the Home Office to return an asylum seeker to the UK from Uganda because her 2013 asylum appeal hearing was unfair. PN v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 1616 (Admin) is the latest in a series of cases ...

2nd July 2019 By

Women trafficked into prostitution are “wealthy” and don’t need asylum, Home Office claims

Official government guidance claims that victims of human trafficking get rich from being sexually exploited in the UK and can be refused asylum, it has emerged. A new Home Office policy document on women trafficked from Nigeria says that those who be ...

28th June 2019 By

Court of Appeal quashes clearly unfounded certificate in Albanian asylum claim

This week the Court of Appeal quashed the certification of an Albanian asylum claim as “clearly unfounded”. In SP (Albania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 951, the court found that the Home Office had not properly inv ...

21st June 2019 By

What is the difference between refugee status and humanitarian protection?

Viewers of BBC2’s fly-on-the-wall documentary series about immigration lawyers and their clients may remember Dillian, a gay asylum seeker from the Caribbean. Dillian isn’t granted refugee status, but does eventually get a different legal status a ...

21st June 2019 By

Briefing: What does “sufficiency of protection” mean in UK asylum law?

The inelegant phrase “a sufficiency of protection” originates in a now obscure series of tribunal determinations from the 1990s. It was eventually entrenched in law by the House of Lords case of Horvath [2001] AC 489, but the diverse judgm ...

20th June 2019 By

Refugee Week: asylum in the UK, by numbers

This week is Refugee Week. From 17-23 June 2019, 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 infographic draws on government ...

18th June 2019 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?” We’ll have a load of other refugee related conte ...

17th June 2019 By

Blood feuds: what happens when the Home Office shares information with the Albanian authorities?

AL (Albania) [2019] EWCA Civ 950 is a new Court of Appeal judgment which says some important things about the approach a tribunal judge should take to factual findings made by another tribunal judge in a related appeal. In this case, AL’s elder brot ...

13th June 2019 By

Helpful case on when failure to claim asylum in a safe country damages credibility

Immigration judges must assess whether an asylum seeker had a reasonable opportunity to claim asylum in a safe third country before holding that a failure to do so should damage their credibility, the Court of Appeal has ruled. KA (Afghanistan) v Secr ...

12th June 2019 By

The EU-Turkey refugee deal: a Greek myth

It was hailed as an emergency solution to the refugee crisis but figures reveal that only 36 Syrians had been removed from Greece under the “EU-Turkey statement” by the end of 2018, write Taimour Lay and Theodoris Zeis. It is over three years sinc ...

7th June 2019 By

New country of origin report on the trafficking of Albanian boys and young men

There are growing concerns around the Home Office’s treatment of children and young people from Albania, with legal practitioners now raising the alarm about the increasing certification of Albanian asylum applications as ‘clearly unfounded’. At ...

5th June 2019 By

Afghan country guidance decision remitted following statistical error

In March 2018, the Upper Tribunal promulgated the country guidance decision AS (Safety of Kabul) Afghanistan CG [2018] UKUT 118. The tribunal dismissed AS’s appeal and provided guidance on the suitability of Kabul as a site for “internal relocatio ...

31st May 2019 By

Split Court of Appeal finds asylum seeker age assessment policy unlawful

It’s not often these days that we see a positive result from the Court of Appeal, but just before the bank holiday two out of three Lord Justices declared that Home Office policy on assessing the age of asylum seekers is unlawful. The case is BF ...

28th May 2019 By

Refugees can lawfully be deprived of status under EU law

The Court of Justice of the European Union has decided in joined cases C‑391/16, C‑77/17 and C‑78/17 M, X and X that recognised refugees who commit serious crimes can be lawfully deprived of their refugee status under EU law and that there is no ...

17th May 2019 By

Refugee to be deported to Somalia after 30 years in UK following robbery conviction

The Court of Appeal has upheld the deportation of a refugee known only as AM who entered the UK in 1987 aged 11. Having grown up and been educated in the UK, AM held several jobs at different times, had been married and had three estranged British chi ...

9th May 2019 By

Greece is not safe for asylum seekers and refugees to be sent back to

In 2011, the landmark case of MSS v Belgium and Greece concluded that conditions in Greece were so dire, asylum seekers’ human rights would be breached if returned. Removals to Greece under the Dublin III Regulation were suspended as a result.   ...

18th April 2019 By

The government is wrong to dismiss Albanian blood feuds as a reason for granting asylum

Government guidance asserts that an asylum claim based on a blood feud in Albania is likely to be certifiable as clearly unfounded under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. In my view, this is fundamentally misconceived. Ce ...

16th April 2019 By

What are the UK Immigration Rules on statelessness?

People who do not have citizenship of any country in the world — the “stateless” — can get leave to remain in the UK because they have nowhere else to go. The criteria for this leave are found at Part 14 of the Immigration Rule ...

27th March 2019 By

Refugee family reunion: a user’s guide

This post is intended for refugees (including those with humanitarian protection), their families and their friends trying to understand the rules on refugee family reunion. The requirements to be met are straightforward and simple for children and s ...

20th March 2019 By

Asylum seekers must not be sent back to Italy if they face “extreme material poverty”

The Court of Justice of the European Union has today handed down judgment in the case of C-163/17 Jawo. The court held that asylum seekers cannot be sent back even to a fellow EU member state if they are at substantial risk of inhuman or degrading tre ...

19th March 2019 By

Court of Appeal corrects country guidance on Ahmadis from Pakistan

In a unanimous decision the Court of Appeal have allowed the appeal of an Ahmadi who was unable to demonstrate that his case fell within the relevant country guidance decision of MN and others (Ahmadis- country conditions- risk) Pakistan CG [2012] UKU ...

12th March 2019 By

Supreme Court has to remind tribunal self inflicted torture inherently unlikely

The Supreme Court has had to remind the immigration tribunal that self inflicted torture by proxy (SIBP) is inherently unlikely. Self inflicted torture by proxy is the least worst phrase so far devised for describing the idea — and it really is ...

6th March 2019 By
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