All Articles: Asylum

“Westernised” Iraqi family granted asylum

What does it mean to be ‘westernised’? It is striking that a term that is used so frequently in this jurisdiction has never been more closely defined. I would suggest that this is because, like obscene material, it is because we ‘know it when we ...

19th January 2022 By

Inflexible biometrics policy for refugee family reunion declared unlawful

In R (SGW) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Biometrics , family reunion policy) [2022] UKUT 15 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal decided that Home Office guidance on refugee family reunion applications is unlawful because it fails to accurately d ...

17th January 2022 By

Ethiopia still not safe for Oromo Liberation Front supporters, country guidance confirms

In AAR (OLF – MB confirmed) Ethiopia CG [2022] UKUT 1 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has confirmed that the situation in Ethiopia has not changed substantially enough to allow a departure from previous country guidance. This is important because peop ...

17th January 2022 By

How asylum seekers can get jobs in social care

On the last working day before Christmas, the government announced that it is adding social care workers to the Health and Care visa and Shortage Occupation List. The change is due to come into force “in February 2022“. The Home Office des ...

12th January 2022 By

Slashing support payments to potential slavery victims defied clear policy

The High Court has again taken the Home Office to task for its stingy approach to supporting vulnerable asylum seekers during the pandemic. In R (JB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 3417, the court held that the department un ...

12th January 2022 By

Six especially ugly bits of the revised Borders Bill that really should be changed

The controversial Nationality and Borders Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords this week. One thing that peers on all sides of the house seemed to agree on – even if for different reasons – is that the immigration system is not workin ...

7th January 2022 By

Seeking asylum isn’t illegal yet, criminal courts confirm, quashing small boat convictions

The Court of Appeal has quashed the convictions of three asylum seekers jailed for between two and six years for assisting unlawful immigration after piloting small boats across the English Channel. The case is Bani v The Crown [2021] EWCA Crim 1958. ...

22nd December 2021 By

People with disabilities are invisible in asylum information

Understandings of and responses to disability vary widely. In the field of international protection, the approach to disability tends to reflect policy and decision-making practices within host states, as well as the understandings and “unconsci ...

16th December 2021 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 913 (closing the door on Afghans)

And just like that we have a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. HC 913 was laid yesterday, 14 December 2021, and solely addresses changes to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) and Ex Gratia Scheme for Locally Employed ...

15th December 2021 By

Asylum by numbers: UK policies on granting refugee status rely too much on statistics

The Home Office issues Country Policy and Information Notes (CPINs) on the main countries that asylum seekers come from to seek protection in the United Kingdom. CPINs aim both to summarise country of origin information and to provide guidance to asyl ...

8th December 2021 By

It is time to think about rejoining the EU’s Dublin asylum system

The “Dublin system” is the process within the European Union for allocating which country is responsible for deciding asylum applications. Its purpose is, essentially, to force refugees back to their point of entry into the EU, usually Gre ...

29th November 2021 By

Cessation, Article 3 and removing refugees from the UK

In the case of PS (cessation principles) Zimbabwe [2021] UKUT 283 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has reiterated the correct approach to cessation of refugee status. The case is also a helpful reminder of when a serious criminal offence can and cannot lead ...

29th November 2021 By

The meaning of “admissible” in statelessness cases

In R (AZ) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (statelessness “admissible”) [2021] UKUT 284 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal addressed the issue of admissibility to the country of former habitual residence in the context of statelessness applicat ...

29th November 2021 By

The tragedy in the Channel

Yesterday, at least 27 people drowned in the Channel. We do not know exactly how many died yesterday or in recent months because the bodies are sometimes lost. A family of five were reported as drowned in October 2020 but the body of one of the childr ...

25th November 2021 By

Nine problems with the asylum system that Priti Patel can’t blame on anyone else

Priti Patel has Been Very Clear that the problems in the asylum system are other people’s fault (including me and my “activist lawyer” colleagues) and that her Package Of New Measures will sort them out. But what do the government’s own expert ...

19th November 2021 By

Appendix Settlement Protection: indefinite leave to remain for refugees

Appendix Settlement Protection to the Immigration Rules came into force on 6 October 2021. As the name might suggest, it consolidates the rules on settlement for people who have been in the UK on a protection route (i.e. refugee status or humanitarian ...

11th November 2021 By

Fresh guidance on fresh claims

What amounts to a “fresh claim” for permission to stay in the UK and how should the immigration tribunal handle challenges arguing that someone’s case should be treated as a fresh claim? These were the questions considered by the Upp ...

3rd November 2021 By

Litigating to end statelessness

Strategic litigation has always been a priority for the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) and its members. Having previously practised in the UK as an asylum lawyer, I recognise that part of the fight to end statelessness must take place in the ...

26th October 2021 By

Claiming humanitarian protection in medical treatment cases

Seriously ill migrants claiming humanitarian protection status must show that a persecutor would intentionally deprive them of medical treatment, the Upper Tribunal has confirmed. The case is NM (Art 15(b): intention requirement) Iraq [2021] UKUT 259 ...

25th October 2021 By

How does the Home Office assess sexual identity in asylum claims?

People claiming asylum based on their sexual orientation, including homosexuality and bisexuality, may form part of a “particular social group” which qualifies for protection under the Refugee Convention.  In deciding whether to accept an ...

22nd October 2021 By

Give trafficked asylum seekers permission to stay, says High Court

The decision in R (KTT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2722 (Admin), widely reported in the mainstream press this week, is a massive result for trafficking victims. The High Court has concluded that a trafficking victim who i ...

15th October 2021 By

Book review: The Refugee in International Law by Goodwin-Gill and McAdam (4th edition)

The first edition of The Refugee in International Law, written by Guy Goodwin-Gill, was published in 1983 and is considered the birth of modern refugee law. For the third edition in 2007 Goodwin-Gill was joined by Jane McAdam as co-author. The fourth ...

14th October 2021 By

Court of Appeal clears up how Article 8 works in Dublin III family reunion cases

In R (BAA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1428 the Court of Appeal has clarified the reach of Article 8 in Dublin III family reunion judicial reviews. Unlawful refusal to accept Syrian asylum seeker The case was about an ...

13th October 2021 By

Briefing: sea rescue of refugees in UK law and proposals for change

In a previous briefing we saw that customary international law, four international conventions and international human rights law all impose a duty on states to rescue those in distress at sea and to set up and maintain search and rescue services. We ...

11th October 2021 By

Who can be sent back to Afghanistan?

Two months ago, the Home Office withdrew all but one of its country policy and information notes (CPINs) relating to Afghanistan. New decisions on Afghan asylum claims were halted, and in the immigration tribunals, Presenting Officers sought adjournme ...

11th October 2021 By

Asylum seekers denied “essential living needs” during pandemic, finds High Court

In the case of JM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2514, the High Court has held that the government failed to cater for asylum seekers’ essential living needs during the pandemic.  The court found that JM, who was housed in ...

7th October 2021 By

Asylum seeker right to work policy declared unlawful, again

There has been another successful challenge to the policy on asylum seekers undertaking paid work. In R (Cardona) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2656 (Admin), the High Court has declared that Home Office policy on this issue ...

6th October 2021 By

Patel pleads for time to stop Channel crossings

About half of the Home Secretary’s speech to the Conservative Party conference today was given over to immigration and asylum, but there were no new policy announcements. In fact it was, in structure, tone and content, much like last year’ ...

5th October 2021 By

Briefing: the duty of refugee sea rescue in international law

In the absence of safe and legal routes to sanctuary countries in which they can rebuild their lives, refugees often resort to travel by unsafe means. The issue of rescuing refugees at sea has risen in global prominence, with an estimated 40,000 refug ...

5th October 2021 By

Serious crime enough for humanitarian protection to be revoked

A serious crime is enough for humanitarian protection to be revoked, the Upper Tribunal has held. The case is Kakarash (revocation of HP; respondent’s policy) [2021] UKUT 235 (IAC). Appeal against loss of humanitarian protection initially allowed Mr ...

23rd September 2021 By

Fast Track asylum appeals were not necessarily unfair, Supreme Court confirms

The fact that the Detained Fast Track asylum appeal process was systemically unfair doesn’t mean it was automatically unfair in every case decided under it, according to the Supreme Court. The case is TN (Vietnam) [2021] UKSC 41. TN is a Vietnamese ...

22nd September 2021 By
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