All Articles: Asylum

Atheism as grounds for asylum

Just a short one to observe that the Afghan atheist case is a truly great result. I haven’t myself heard of a case of an atheist getting asylum on that ground before. It is also fantastic to see the students at the Kent Law Clinic getting such a ...

14th January 2014 By

Duty to give reasons

MK (duty to give reasons) Pakistan [2013] UKUT 641 (IAC) is a corker of a decision from the incoming new President of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Upper Tribunal, Mr Justice McCloskey. It is well worth a detailed read. Here, I just set ou ...

6th January 2014 By

SD (military service – sexual identity) Turkey CG [2013] UKUT 612 (IAC)

Official headnote: (1) All Turkish males are required to undergo military service but exemption can be granted on the grounds of physical or mental disability which includes “sexual identity disorder”. (2) Homosexuality is regarded by the ...

2nd January 2014 By

Winter storm hits Syrian refugees but there’s no room at the inn

William Hague ‘paid tribute‘ to the hospitality of the Lebanese people but here in the UK there is no room at the inn: still the UK refuses to offer resettlement to Syrian refugees. Contrast that with Germany, for example. ...

13th December 2013 By

Criminals deported to DRC are at risk says High Court

In R (on the application of P (DRC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 3879 (Admin), handed down on 9 December 2013, Mr Justice Philips held that P would be at risk of treatment in breach of Article 3 of the ECHR if deported to t ...

10th December 2013 By

Are asylum appeal hearings the same wherever they are heard?

Both parties and practitioners are entitled to expect that the practice and procedure of the court in which their case is heard will be consistent and fair irrespective of which court it is and where it is.  Yet a Freedom of Information Act 2000 requ ...

30th November 2013 By

Sri Lankan asylum claims

Permission has been granted by the Court of Appeal to challenge the outcome of the recent Country Guidance case on Sri Lanka, GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC) (previous post: “New Sri Lankan Count ...

19th November 2013 By

‘Proving’ sexual orientation in asylum claims

According to the recent Missing the Mark report by the excellent UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, a worryingly high proportion of LGBTI asylum claims are refused because the Home Office does not believe that the claimant has ‘proved’ his or ...

30th October 2013 By

Somalia: safe for returns?

The Upper Tribunal has listed an appeal to be heard in December in which it intends to give further country guidance about returns to Mogadishu.  No doubt the case will address the contention long advanced by the Secretary of State that the situation ...

15th October 2013 By

Dublin, Italy and the tragedy at Lampedusa

The good name of the greatest city in Ireland, and indeed Europe, has long been sullied by association with the Dublin II Regulation, which followed the original Dublin Convention as the means by which countries unfortunate/fortunate enough to be alon ...

14th October 2013 By

Michigan Guidelines on the Exclusion of International Criminals

The various Michigan Guidelines are always thoughtful, interesting and deserving of attention. These documents are the output of a colloquium hosted by Professor James Hathaway’s University of Michigan’s Program in Refugee and Asylum Law. ...

9th October 2013 By

Statelessness: call for referrals by Liverpool Law Clinic

The UK is a party to and has ratified both of the Statelessness Conventions. However, until recently there has been inconsistency in approach to those asylum (and other) applicants who are without a nationality, and often a failure to record or even t ...

20th September 2013 By

Immigration detention: what is the point?

The horrific news of sexual abuse by private security contractors at Yarlswood, the female-only immigration detention centre near Bedford, is awful and shocking. It is very far from the first time that problems or outright abuse at Yarlswood has been ...

16th September 2013 By

Infographics of the latest UK asylum statistics

The Refugee Council have put out their regular interesting and useful briefing on UK asylum statistics. As an experiment I’ve picked out and visualised a few snippets I thought were interesting: ...

13th September 2013 By

Injunctions for removal from fast track

One overlooked solution to the one way asylum fast track to refusal and removal is to seek an injunction preventing consideration under the fast track process. This option should be seriously considered where the client has good grounds for asserting ...

12th September 2013 By

Asylum applications by country

Hat tip to Migrants Rights Network. ...

9th September 2013 By

Refugee “cause lawyering” in the UK

Professor Stephen Meili of the University of Minnesota Law School has written a very interesting article entitled U.K. Refugee Lawyers: Pushing the Boundaries of Domestic Court Acceptance of International Human Rights Law for the Boston College Law Re ...

5th September 2013 By

Wrongful convictions of refugees overturned

Refugees fleeing persecution in their home country cannot afford to be scrupulous about the means by which they reach sanctuary in another country. This truism was recognised by the drafters of the Refugee Convention: Article 31 affords refugees prote ...

5th August 2013 By

What happened to history’s refugees?

Fascinating piece from Guardian’s Datablog with timeline leading up to modern Syrian crisis. Hat tip to @harrietgrant. ...

26th July 2013 By

How not to write a determination

From the very first sentence of ML (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 844, one of the many end of term judgments issued last week, one knows there is going to be trouble: Of all the hackneyed phrases in the law, few ...

25th July 2013 By

Court of Session rules on linguistic analysis

There has been a significant decision in the Inner House of the Court of Session – the Scottish equivalent to the Court of Appeal – on the Home Office’s use of language analysis for the determination of origin, or ‘LADO’. The decisio ...

24th July 2013 By

Choice of religious upbringing for child not a basis for international protection

In SS (Malaysia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 888 a child’s Christian mother had fled with the child from Malaysia after the father said he was to convert to Islam, fearing that their child would be brought up a M ...

19th July 2013 By

A Sanctuary for Snowden?

After my impromptu Snowden mini series a couple of weeks ago, ECRE got in touch to ask for a “didactic commentary regarding general asylum procedures in the context of Snowden’s situation”. With permission, here is the article below, ...

19th July 2013 By

Unfair trial abroad

In the case of Kapri v The Lord Advocate (representing The Government of the Republic of Albania) [2013] UKSC 48 the Supreme Court has given guidance on the application of the ‘flagrant breach’ test for determining whether a court process ...

16th July 2013 By

Sri Lanka Country Guidance seminar report

Last Friday evening Renaissance Chambers’ immigration group hosted a seminar about the new Sri Lanka Country Guidance: GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC). I had the pleasure of speaking together with Shiva ...

15th July 2013 By

European Asylum Information Database

European Asylum Information Database A well designed and useful new resource website from ECRE and partners offering comparisons between different European asylum procedures, reception conditions and detention policies. ...

12th July 2013 By

New post civil war Sri Lankan Country Guidance

A long awaited and much needed new Country Guidance cases has finally been issued by the Upper Tribunal: GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC). One of the three appellants succeeded on refugee grounds – c ...

9th July 2013 By

Why are asylum seekers disbelieved?

Why are asylum seekers so often disbelieved? How is it that clinical evidence of torture is oftentimes rejected on the grounds of ‘credibility’? Why has the UK judged so many Tamil asylum seekers not to be at risk, forcibly returning them to Sri L ...

4th July 2013 By

Is Edward Snowden a refugee?

Edward Snowden, the private contractor who exposed the industrial scale intelligence gathering methods of the United States’ National Security Agency and our own GCHQ, is seeking asylum in Russia and a host of other countries. He fears that his ...

2nd July 2013 By

Does the UK consider asylum applications made from abroad?

Edward Snowden is coming across as pretty desperate and is reported to have made asylum applications to a host of different countries, all from his reported current location of Russia. The Guardian is keeping tabs on which countries have so far respon ...

2nd July 2013 By

Freedom From Torture referrals by email

Freedom From Torture referrals by email Freedom From Torture are spreading the word that referrals to them for medico-legal reports can now be made by email, a new facility that makes life just a little easier. ...

27th June 2013 By

Convictions of trafficking victims quashed, new guidance given

Finally, there has been a breakthrough in cases where victims of trafficking find themselves prosecuted and convicted here in the UK for engaging in the very activity into which the victim was forced. It may seem strange that it is the victims of traf ...

24th June 2013 By

When You Don’t Exist

“There are now more than 45 million refugees and internally displaced people – the highest level in nearly 20 years.  Figures give only a glimpse of this enormous human tragedy. Every day, conflict tears apart the lives of thousands of fami ...

21st June 2013 By

Tanveer Ahmed upheld

In the case of MJ (Singh v Belgium : Tanveer Ahmed (unaffected) Afghanistan [2013] UKUT 253 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal found: The conclusions of the European Court of Human Rights in Singh v Belgium (Application No. 33210/2011) neither justify nor requ ...

17th June 2013 By

Dublin II does not apply to separated children

Confirming the earlier Opinion in the same case the Court of Justice of the European Union has today held in MA and Others v UK (Case C‑648/11), in effect, that the Dublin II regulation does not apply to separated children who have claimed asylum ...

6th June 2013 By

Ahmadis and fast track asylum appeals

Many thanks to Eric Fripp of Lamb Building for the following note: On 8th May 2013 in the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) at York House, a panel consisting of First Tier Tribunal Judges Woodcraft and Samimi dealt with two cases (r ...

30th May 2013 By

No Fire Zone – The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka

As most of you know, Renaissance Chambers has developed expertise in conducting Tamil asylum claims.  The issues involved in these cases have been previously covered on Free Movement here and these include in particular Chambers’ and the NGOs’ ef ...

13th May 2013 By

Sikhs in Afghanistan

DSG &  Others (Afghan Sikhs: departure from CG) Afghanistan [2013] UKUT 148 (IAC) Having done quite a few Afghan Sikh cases myself I can say this looks like a very sensible and pragmatic decision essentially disavowing the rather antiquated exis ...

8th April 2013 By

Important guidance on medical evidence in asylum cases

JL (medical reports-credibility) China [2013] UKUT 145 (IAC) Important read for anyone commissioning, writing or relying on medical reports in asylum cases. Official headnote: (1) Those writing medical reports for use in immigration and asylum appeals ...

8th April 2013 By

OO (gay men: risk) Algeria [2013] UKUT 63 (IAC)

OO (gay men: risk) Algeria [2013] UKUT 63 (IAC) Official headnote: a) “Sodomy” and “acts against nature with a member of the same sex” are illegal under Penal Code Article 388 and 333 in Algeria and on conviction carry a criminal sentence of u ...

8th April 2013 By

Quick Reads