All Articles: Asylum

SPRAKAB and anonymous evidence

The Independent reported at the end of last week that an “expert” linguist at controversial commercial linguistic analysis company SPRAKAB has lied about his qualifications and has a criminal conviction for smuggling drugs. It is rather q ...

17th November 2014 By

Tarakhel: another blow to the Dublin system

In Tarakhel v Switzerland [2014] ECHR 1185 (04 November 2014) the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) has issued its long-awaited decision as to the lawfulness of returning asylum seekers to It ...

13th November 2014 By

Refugee law in the UK: new ebook

Want to know who might qualify as a refugee? What the legal requirements are? What reasons the Home Office relies on to refuse cases and what counter arguments are available? Who might be excluded from refugee status? I have just finished a new ebook, ...

30th October 2014 By

New duty to keep Home Office informed

When reviewing the Home Office’s new Appeals Guidance policy document I was reminded of a new feature of the appeals regime that is an important one but which was tucked away in the schedules to the Immigration Act 2014. A new expanded section 1 ...

29th October 2014 By

Report finds stereotyping and intrusive questions of gay asylum seekers

Today the Home Office has belatedly allowed publication of an investigation by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, into the assessment of asylum claims based on sexual identity. The report was handed to Theresa May on 31 July 20 ...

23rd October 2014 By

New country guidance case on Angola and Cabinda

The official headnote is quite long but you can get the gist from paragraph 2: There is significant evidence of human rights abuses, including within Cabinda and affecting Cabindans, problems of arbitrary arrest and detention, ill-treatment in detenti ...

1st October 2014 By

UKIP plan would increase UK asylum claims

It tickles me that UKIP plan to scrap the EU agreement that permits the UK to return asylum seekers to other EU countries without considering their asylum claim. As it stands, this EU agreement, often referred to as the Dublin Convention or Dublin Reg ...

30th September 2014 By

Italy and Dublin – Tabrizagh again (sigh)

The Court of Appeal yesterday gave judgment in Tabrizagh and others, the application for permission to appeal from the decision of Laing J. The written judgment is not available yet but will be soon [UPDATE: R (On the Application Of Tabrizagh & Or ...

19th September 2014 By

Reasons for Refusal Letter, 11 December 2013

Anxious scrutiny has been given the expert report from . It is noted that the report was produced for your solicitor “under her instruction” to aid your asylum claim. It is therefore not objective information and it is clear you were not s ...

3rd September 2014 By

How did Britain handle its biggest wave of refugees ever?

Simply fantastic. Compare and contrast with the attitude to Syrian refugees today. ...

20th August 2014 By

How children become failed asylum seekers

Kent Law Clinic has published a new report, How Children Become Failed Asylum Seekers, which needs to be read by anyone representing children in asylum cases. Taking the files of 25 “failed asylum seekers” who had arrived in Kent as children, the ...

20th August 2014 By

HM and others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2012] UKUT 00409 (IAC)

The phased withdrawal of US forces has not led to a return to generalised sectarian conflict and indeed appears to have resulted in a significant annualised drop in the number of security incidents … the most likely development is that the leve ...

15th August 2014 By

Ethnographic study of “culture of disbelief” at Taylor House

A fascinating study of power play and relationships inside and outside the hearing room has been published as a working paper by the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford: The culture of disbelief: an ethnographic approach to understandi ...

6th August 2014 By

From ABC to DSSH: How to prove that you are a gay refugee?

In an e-mail posting on a practitioners’ discussion group last week, a representative asked the group for details of a psychiatrist in order to prove that the detained client is gay. In follow-up e-mails, it was revealed that the enquiry was prompte ...

23rd July 2014 By

Report shows flaws in Home Office asylum reasoning

Asylum Aid has published a new report, Even If… The use of the Internal Protection Alternative in asylum decisions in the UK, analysing the reasoning on internal protection or internal relocation in Home Office asylum decisions, identifying a nu ...

22nd July 2014 By

New Libya Country Guidance asylum case

Nearly 3 years after the end of the civil war in Libya that swept away the Qadhafi regime and its associated country guidance, and after nearly 8 months of deliberation, the Upper Tribunal has decided that Libya isn’t so bad after all, at least for ...

16th July 2014 By

Court of Appeal judgment critical of expert commenting on refusal letter

In MF (Albania) v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 902, the Court of Appeal considered and upheld the criticisms of the appellant’s country expert made by the Upper Tribunal. In doing so, the Court appeared to disapprove of the practice of instructing expert wi ...

10th July 2014 By

HM Inspector of Prisons report on Dover IRC and Rule 35

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons report on an unannounced inspection of Dover Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) between 3–14 March 2014 (published 7 July 2014) once again highlights critical concerns surrounding Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 200 ...

8th July 2014 By

New UNHCR Handbook on Protection of Statelessness Persons

Thanks to @ein_website for spotting it, looks interesting and useful. ...

7th July 2014 By

UNHCR announces asylum detention naughty step

UNHCR has identified a number of countries to work with initially to revisit detention practices and to strengthen alternatives to detention, including Hungary, Indonesia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Thailand, UK and Zambia. Source ...

3rd July 2014 By

Does detention increase removals and decrease asylum claims?

Yesterday I gave a short talk at an event organised by the Campaign to Close Campsfield as part of Oxford Refugee Week. It was an excellent, well attended event in a packed room at the town hall and I’m grateful for the chance to have spoken. My ...

17th June 2014 By

Italy and Dublin: Tabrizagh test case

Judgment has finally been handed down in the latest test case on Dublin removals to Italy, Tabrizagh and others v SSHD [2014] EWHC 1914 (Admin) and although it is on any view bad news, there is much in it to consider. In a carefully reasoned and frank ...

16th June 2014 By

Iranian conscript refugee denied British citizenship

Born just before the revolution in 1978, a man known only as DA grew up an orphan in Iran. He understood that his father had been tortured for his political beliefs and he was raised by his older siblings. When the time came for his compulsory militar ...

29th May 2014 By

Refugee Action wins case on behalf of destitute asylum seekers

The present Government has declared its intention to create a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants. True to its word, the Go Home vans, the ‘papers please’ raids on public transport hubs, the targeting of foreign students, the in ...

10th April 2014 By

UNHCR’s Guidelines on Military Service

According to the Independent newspaper, scientists have located “the conscience.” It’s in the front part of the brain and is the size of a Brussels’ sprout. For those who object to military service on grounds of conscience, this is ...

4th April 2014 By

Home Office asylum interview question (May 2012)

After all this time in prison, what makes you believe that you are still gay? ...

31st March 2014 By

Review of handling of gay asylum claims

Very pleased to have played a role in bringing about this review: it was here on Free Movement that the case referred to by May was revealed before being picked up by The Observer. A Home Office document leaked earlier this year revealed how one bisex ...

29th March 2014 By

UNHCR Protection Manual updated

The UNHCR’s collection of guidance materials has been updated. It is a vast collection that must run to hundreds of thousands of pages and it is incredibly helpful having it all collected together in one accessible place. ...

25th March 2014 By

Resources Guide for Legal Practitioners Working with Refugee Children

A new fourth edition is out, published by ILPA and written by Shauna Gillan with Alison Harvey and Sarah Myerscough. Free to download. ...

24th March 2014 By

Risk for Christians in China “virtually negligible”

So says the immigration tribunal in the latest Country Guidance case of QH (Christians – risk )(China) CG [2014] UKUT 86 (IAC). ...

17th March 2014 By

Syrian asylum seekers rejected, detained and removed in 2013

A Parliamentary written answer yesterday revealed that of the Syrians that managed to get to the UK to claim asylum in 2013, 24 were forcibly removed and a further 20 remain in immigration detention today. That seems to me truly shocking. It certainly ...

5th March 2014 By

No risk of persecution for gay men in India despite criminalisation

So says the tribunal in MD (same-sex oriented males: risk) India CG [2014] UKUT 65 (IAC), anyway. And even if there was risk in the home area, the tribunal considers that relocation within India is generally reasonable and “LGBT support organis ...

21st February 2014 By

Removals to Mogadishu are re-starting

The Home Office have started giving directions for the removal of failed asylum seekers to Mogadishu on Turkish Airline flights via Istanbul. Anyone given such removal directions might ask the Home Office to reconsider whether they risk violating thei ...

21st February 2014 By

Supreme Court decides on third country returns

Any asylum practitioner is likely to come across cases where, rather than investigate the merits of an asylum claim, the Home Office seeks to return their client to a third country elsewhere in the European Union deemed under the Dublin II Regulation ...

19th February 2014 By

Congolese torture memo emerges

We know from history that organised and persecutory regimes do document their own human rights abuses. Unusual to see such documents emerge while current, though. ...

18th February 2014 By

Prurient questions about sexual matters

Reading through the Home Office’s response to a recent Home Affairs Select Committee, this jumped out at me: The Home Office does not permit caseworkers to ask prurient questions about sexual matters or require applicants to produce sexually exp ...

11th February 2014 By

When is a refugee not a refugee?

You might be forgiven for thinking that when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has already recognised an individual’s status as a refugee, national decision-makers would ordinarily follow suit. After all, UNHCR has unmatched expertis ...

10th February 2014 By

Gay asylum seekers face ‘humiliation’

You saw it here first! ...

9th February 2014 By

Questions to a bisexual asylum seeker in detention

The following questions are transcribed from the interviewer’s written record of an interview with a detained asylum seeker who stated he was bisexual. The interview took place in October 2013, beginning at 10.25am and ending at 4pm. There was a ...

24th January 2014 By

Dublin 3 comes into effect

Largely unnoticed by many, on 1 January 2014 a new legal regime entered force regarding the allocation of responsibility for considering asylum claims from persons who have entered the country from elsewhere in the European Union: Regulation (EU) No ...

16th January 2014 By

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