All Articles: Asylum

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

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

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