All Articles: Asylum

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

Briefing: the new Home Office policy on statelessness

The new Tottenham Hotspur manager, José Mourinho, recently vowed not to repeat his past mistakes, but instead will make new mistakes.  The Home Office’s new guidance on statelessness, as with its approach to other topics, both repeats some mis ...

2nd December 2019 By

Supreme Court finds detention of asylum seekers unlawful

The Supreme Court has confirmed in the case of Hemmati v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] UKSC 56 that the detention of asylum seekers for their removal to other EU states under the Dublin Regulation was unlawful between 1 January 201 ...

27th November 2019 By

Immigration judges told how to handle Somalian refugee cessation cases

The Upper Tribunal has provided guidance on how First-tier Tribunal judges should approach attempts by the Home Office to revoke refugee status from Somalian nationals. SB (refugee revocation; IDP camps) Somalia [2019] UKUT 358 (IAC) confirms that it ...

21st November 2019 By

54-day stopover counts as “in transit” for Refugee Convention

In Idahosa v R [2019] EWCA Crim 1953 the Court of Appeal has ruled that an asylum seeker who had stopped over in the United Kingdom for 54 days en route to Canada can rely on the exception to false documents offences available to refugees. The court t ...

20th November 2019 By

Complete withdrawal of asylum support breaches EU law

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that it is unlawful to completely withdraw all housing and financial support from an asylum seeker, even if they have breached the rules of an accommodation centre. In Case C-233/18 Haqbin v Federaa ...

14th November 2019 By

Escaped Tamil prisoners are at risk in Sri Lanka, Court of Appeal confirms

The Court of Appeal has overruled both immigration tribunals and found that members of the Tamil Tigers who were detained but escaped are at risk of persecution in Sri Lanka. The judgment in RS (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department ...

1st November 2019 By

Asylum seeker with autistic child unlawfully housed in studio flat

The Home Office acted unlawfully when accommodating a Nigerian asylum seeker and her young children in a studio flat for about 14 months, the High Court has found. The judgment in R (O) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 2734 (Ad ...

29th October 2019 By

Court of Appeal reopens possibility of asylum for Ukrainian draft evaders

Last year, the Upper Tribunal refused to recognise my client PK as a refugee, despite acknowledging the risk of a Ukrainian conscript being associated with organisations committing acts contrary to international humanitarian law. This resulted in th ...

25th October 2019 By

Refugees’ dependants can be sent packing if country of origin circumstances have changed

A grant of refugee status usually involves acceptance that a particular set of circumstances exist which would make it unlawful for a person to be returned to their country of origin. But circumstances change, and this can have a knock-on effect on wh ...

17th October 2019 By

Relatives of refugees are not legally refugees after all

The Court of Appeal has held that the UN Refugee Convention should not be interpreted to include an implied type of derivative refugee status for the family members of refugees. As a result, anyone who was granted refugee status under UK law as the fa ...

16th October 2019 By

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
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