All Articles: Asylum

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, the Supreme Court has held. The case is TN (Vietnam) [2021] UKSC 41. TN is a Vietnamese asyl ...

22nd September 2021 By

Best practice in asylum and human rights appeals: a medical perspective

Mark Henderson, Rowena Moffatt and Alison Pickup have produced an update of the seminal Best Practice Guide to Asylum and Human Rights Appeals and (bless them) made it available online through the Electronic Immigration Network. As a dumb medic, I can ...

21st September 2021 By

Only French cooperation can stop the Channel boats

The supposed “turn-around” policy for migrant boats is similar to previous reports of wave machines or floating fences. It sounds tough but will never be implemented. Policies aimed at the interception or interdiction of asylum seekers at sea are ...

13th September 2021 By

Even as Afghans are resettled, refugee protection is under attack

In 1956, after Soviet tanks had rolled into Budapest, the United Kingdom resettled around 11,000 Hungarian refugees in a matter of months. In 1972, after Idi Amin gave them 90 days to leave, the United Kingdom resettled nearly 30,000 Ugandan Asian ref ...

6th September 2021 By

Asylum backlog passes 70,000

The backlog of asylum cases has passed 70,000 despite a fall in the annual number of applications. Almost 71,000 asylum seekers, including dependants, were awaiting an initial decision on their claim for refugee status as of 30 June 2021, according to ...

26th August 2021 By

New Home Office policy on medical evidence in asylum claims

The Home Office has published a new policy on Medical evidence in asylum claims. For years there had been policy on medico-legal reports from the Helen Bamber Foundation and Freedom from Torture. There was also a much scrappier policy on medical evide ...

19th August 2021 By

Offshore processing doesn’t stop the boats, Australian experts warn

Sending asylum seekers to have their claims processed “offshore” as a deterrent to boat arrivals doesn’t work, according to Australian experts examining their own country’s experience. A policy briefing by the Kaldor Centre at ...

17th August 2021 By

So much for the safety of Kabul

Like many refugee lawyers I have watched in horror as the Taliban, taking their cue from the US troop withdrawal, have swept through Afghanistan. At time of writing, it has been confirmed that the Taliban have taken most of the country, including the ...

16th August 2021 By

Court of Appeal lays down hyper-strict approach to EU asylum claims

ZV (Lithuania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1196 is an important case about the admissibility of asylum claims made by EU citizens. There is a long-standing rule that asylum claims by EU nationals will only be considere ...

11th August 2021 By

Briefing: are labour mobility schemes for skilled refugees a good idea?

On 20 July 2021, Free Movement published an article about the UK’s new Displaced Talent Mobility Programme, which concluded that it constituted “a new complementary pathway” for refugees to reach the country and “a positive step that will hope ...

5th August 2021 By

Supreme Court upholds Home Office age assessment policy

The Supreme Court has upheld the policy of treating asylum seekers who claim to be children as adults if two Home Office officials think that the person looks significantly over 18. The case is R (BF (Eritrea)) v Secretary of State for the Home Depar ...

2nd August 2021 By

Asylum camp staff were working illegally, inspectors say

It’s not the most damning part of yesterday’s inspection report on the asylum seeker camp at Napier barracks, but it’s certainly the most ironic. Some of the staff charged with running the camp were themselves migrants working in br ...

23rd July 2021 By

The displaced talent scheme: helping refugees apply for UK work permits

I am announcing that those displaced by conflict and violence will now also be able to benefit from access to our global points-based immigration system. To enable skilled displaced people who have had to flee their homes to come to the UK safely and ...

20th July 2021 By

Briefing: the Nationality and Borders Bill, Part 4 (modern slavery)

Part 4 of the Nationality and Borders Bill addresses modern slavery and human trafficking. The Home Office’s goals for reform in this area are, as ever, focused on criminality. The Home Secretary has promised that the Bill will “break the busi ...

19th July 2021 By

Analysis: the Borders Bill and the Refugee Convention

Under the sub-heading “Interpretation of Refugee Convention“, clauses 27-35 of the Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 seek to accomplish four main tasks: Translate some EU asylum law, currently residing in secondary legislation, into primar ...

16th July 2021 By

Briefing: the Nationality and Borders Bill, Part 2 (asylum)

MPs will give the Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 its second reading on 19 July. One of the Bill’s main objectives is to make the asylum system “fairer and more effective”. Most of the clauses supposedly directed to that purpose ar ...

16th July 2021 By

Book review: The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law, edited by Costello, Foster and McAdam

The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law, edited by Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster and Jane McAdam and published in June 2021, is a massive book in every sense. Some five years in the making, running to 1,258 pages, consisting of 65 chapter ...

15th July 2021 By

Double win for refugees seeking backdated benefits

The Court of Session in Scotland and the High Court in England and Wales have both ruled that newly recognised refugees have a right to claim backdated child tax credit. The cases are Adnan, Petitioners [2021] CSOH 63 and R (DK) v Her Majesty’s ...

7th July 2021 By

Priti Patel’s Borders Bill caters for fantasy refugees, not real ones

Imagine that you are – for the sake of argument – involved in a democracy movement in a post-Soviet dictatorship. Recently the police picked you up, beat the hell out of you and assaulted you in ways you’d rather not dwell on. Then they booted y ...

6th July 2021 By

The Nationality and Borders Bill 2021: first impressions

The much-hyped Nationality and Borders Bill is here. It mainly addresses asylum issues but there are some nationality provisions included as well, which we have already covered and will return to in another article soon. My first impressions, reading ...

6th July 2021 By

Parts of Home Office policy on Dublin III family reunion declared unlawful

Hundreds of refugee children denied reunion with family in the UK may be able to challenge that decision following a ruling that Home Office policy on “Dublin III” transfers is in part unlawful. The case is R (Safe Passage International) v ...

5th July 2021 By

Borders Bill to make asylum seeking a crime

“Illegal immigration to be turned into a criminal offence in landmark borders bill”, the Sunday Express reports. The idea that unauthorised immigration is insufficiently criminalised will surprise legislators who have spent much of the pas ...

5th July 2021 By

Immigration tribunal can reject expert evidence

The Court of Appeal has ruled that an immigration tribunal is not obliged to accept the conclusions of an expert witness. The case of MS (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 941 confirms that a tribunal is required t ...

29th June 2021 By

High Court strikes down pandemic protections for refused asylum seekers

The High Court has overturned a tribunal judgment that had instructed the Home Office to house refused asylum seekers until lockdown restrictions end. The decision in R (Secretary of State for the Home Department) v First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitle ...

24th June 2021 By

Should people displaced by climate change be considered refugees?

No matter how devastating may be epidemic, natural disaster or famine, a person fleeing them is not a refugee within the terms of the Convention. A v Minister for Immigration & Ethnic Affairs [1997] HCA 4 (Aus HC) As the High Court of Australia hi ...

18th June 2021 By

Refugee Week: asylum in the UK, by numbers

Copy: Refugee Week 2020Infogram This week is Refugee Week. From 14-20 June 2021, the UK celebrates the contribution of refugees and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. The infographic above draws on government figures to illust ...

17th June 2021 By

Can asylum seekers work while waiting for a decision on their case?

A recent technical error cutting countless asylum seekers off from their already-meagre support payments of £39.63 a week has shed light on the difficulties those applying for asylum face in meeting their basic needs while their claims are being cons ...

16th June 2021 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 2021 By

What is the difference between refugee status and humanitarian protection?

On the face of it, refugee status and humanitarian protection seem like two sides of the same coin. Both are a form of international protection granted to a person in need. Both result in a grant of five years’ permission to remain in the UK on ...

14th June 2021 By

Game-changer for Sri Lankan Tamil activists seeking asylum in the UK

The new Sri Lanka country guidance judgment in KK and RS (Sur place activities, risk) Sri Lanka (CG) [2021] UKUT 130 (IAC) “clarifies and supplements” the previous decision in GJ and others [2013] UKUT 319 (IAC) “with particular reference to sur ...

7th June 2021 By
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