All Articles: Asylum

Sir Nicholas Winton and the bygone tradition of refugee welcome

Sir Nicholas Winton, who as a young stockbroker in 1939 organised the rescue of 669 children from Nazi concentration camps, died yesterday age 106. The children he saved were carried by train from Nazi-occupied Prague. The final train did not get out ...

2nd July 2015 By

Official country information watchdog criticises Home Office on Eritrea

The official country information watchdog, the Independent Advisory Group on Country Information, has criticised the Home Office’s use of country information on the situation in Eritrea. The Guardian has picked up on the story and the full IAG ...

1st July 2015 By

Family tracing: Supreme Court clarifies Rashid

The Supreme Court yesterday handed down judgment in TN, MA and AA (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 40, in which the Court held that a breach of the family tracing duty in Regulation 6 of the Asylum Seekers (Recep ...

25th June 2015 By

The creaking Dublin system – Hungary pulls the plug

There have been some significant recent developments in the Dublin system, which is the means by which people who enter the United Kingdom and claim asylum are returned to the first EU country they have passed through. A child of five with a map could ...

24th June 2015 By

Resettlement of Syrian refugees: UK bottom of league table

The House of Commons Library has issued an interesting briefing on the UK approach to Syrian refugees. Hat tip to ILPA for spotting it. The UK has taken in 4,000 Syrian refugees who managed to reach our shores to make a personal direct claim for asyl ...

23rd June 2015 By

Falling at each hurdle: credibility assessments in women’s asylum claims

The key reason why women are refused asylum in Europe is because they are not believed. So let’s imagine a woman comes to the UK to seek protection from human rights abuses. Let’s call her Malaika. Chances are that Malaika will have experienced so ...

16th June 2015 By

Unlawful for Home Office to ignore expert evidence in trafficking decisions

The Administrative Court last week (22.5.15) handed down judgment in the case of R (on the application of AB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1490 (Admin), quashing a decision not to recognize AB as a victim of human trafficki ...

27th May 2015 By

LGBT asylum seekers: a toxic mix of homophobia, misogyny and ignorance corrupts the asylum system

The treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans asylum seekers has been notoriously poor for many years. In 2010, my organisation, the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, exposed that 98-99% of gay and lesbian asylum seekers had been refused asylu ...

27th April 2015 By

The Heart of the Matter: Assessing Credibility when Children Apply for Asylum in the European Union

Anyone working with child asylum seekers — lawyers, civil servants, judges — should read UNHCR’s new publication The Heart of the Matter: Assessing Credibility when Children Apply for Asylum in the European Union. It came out a coup ...

31st March 2015 By

Tightening of British citizenship rules not aimed at refugees

James Brokenshire, until the dissolution of Parliament last week the Minister of Immigration [EDIT: I am reliably informed that he is still the Minister – thanks go to Alison Harvey!], has confirmed that the recent tightening of policy on granti ...

30th March 2015 By

The sobbing doctor: the mask of professionalism

The image above is of a Californian doctor sobbing outside the hospital building having lost the 19 year old patient on whom he was operating. It has gone viral on social media. It was also picked up in The Guardian in an interesting article by Debora ...

30th March 2015 By

Successful judicial review claim by trafficking victim

A successful judicial review claim by a trafficking victim is reported at R (on the application of FM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 844 (Admin) (26 March 2015). Philip Mott QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge found tha ...

27th March 2015 By

Refusal rate for Syrian visa applications increases yet further

Back in July 2014 I picked through the official Home Office quarterly statistics to plot the refusal rate for visa applications by Syrians to travel to the UK since 2010. There are many Syrians with family or other links to the UK who, perhaps despite ...

12th March 2015 By

Backdating welfare benefits payments to those recognised as refugees in the UK

In Blakesley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWCA Civ 141 the Court of Appeal considered whether the UK Government is in breach of its international obligations towards refugees because of the lack of any provision to make back-payme ...

12th March 2015 By

Home Office asserts Jamaica safe in general despite persecution of LGBT community

The Supreme Court last week rejected the Home Office’s attempt to keep Jamaica on the list of safe countries for asylum claims despite an estimated 10% of the population in Jamaica being subject to persecution because they are gay. This blow to ...

11th March 2015 By

Changes to asylum process and procedure

The circumstances in which an asylum claim may be treated as abandoned by an applicant have been extended with effect from 27 February 2015. Statement of Changes HC 1025 has inserted new wording into paragraph 333C of the Immigration Rules so that it ...

5th March 2015 By

New Country Guidance case on Darfuris and Sudan

MM (Darfuris) Sudan (CG) [2015] UKUT 10 (IAC) is a commendably concise and to the point new Country Guidance case on Sudan and Darfuris: In the country guidance case of AA (Non-Arab Darfuris-relocation) Sudan CG [2009] UKAIT 00056, where it is state ...

12th January 2015 By

Upper Tribunal: Merry Christmas Pakistani Christians! Appeals dismissed…

In an arguably less than ideal piece of timing the Upper Tribunal has finally, just two days before Christmas, issued the long awaited Country Guidance decision on asylum claims by Pakistani Christians. The case is AK and SK (Christians: risk) Pakista ...

23rd December 2014 By

Jesus is refused asylum

Dear Jesus, You have applied for asylum in the United Kingdom and asked to be recognised as a refugee under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva Convention) on the basis that it would be contrary to the United Kingdom’s o ...

19th December 2014 By

EU court bans credibility ‘tests’ for gay refugees

In welcome news for LGBT asylum claimants, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled this week that ‘tests’ to prove a claimant’s sexual orientation, or intimate questioning about sexual behaviour, may breach the rights to human dignity ...

4th December 2014 By

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

The new Somalia Country Guidance: green lights and red lights

Long-awaited guidance on returns to Mogadishu poses significant, but not insurmountable, challenges to appellants It may be 286 pages long but the apparent effect of the new Somalia Country Guidance — MOJ & Ors (Return to Mogadishu) (CG) [20 ...

31st October 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