All Articles: Asylum

Zimbabwe gay guidance case

The latest Country Guidance case on Zimbabwe finds, in essence, that despite vociferous and violent pronouncements about homosexuality at the highest level in that country, Zimbabwe is a safe haven for lesbians and gays. The case is LZ (homosexuals) ...

31st January 2012 By

The asylum merry-go-round

Lord Justice Ward is at it again: This is another of those frustrating appeals which characterise – and, some may even think, disfigure – certain aspects of the work in the immigration field. Here we have one of those whirligig cases where an asyl ...

19th January 2012 By

NS v UK: removals under the Dublin II regulation

In the case of NS v UK (C-411/10) (see here for FM’s earlier alerter post), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that the transfer of an asylum-seeker from one EU Member State to another under the Dublin II regulation is no ...

11th January 2012 By

Tribunal obliged to seek out representation in Country Guidance cases

The Court of Appeal last week handed down a very interesting judgment on the need for ‘proper argument’ in Country Guidance cases, the obligation on the tribunal itself to seek to secure that proper argument and how far the tribunal deter ...

19th December 2011 By

New risk factor in Sri Lankan cases

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has addressed risk to Sri Lankan Tamils facing enforced removal in a new judgment recently reported by UNHCR. The judgment is in French but the UNHCR summary in English states as follows: [P]olitical opponents, c ...

12th December 2011 By

Charter flight to Sri Lanka 15 December 2011

EDIT 14/12/11: Treasury Solicitor letter to High Court regarding charter flight can be found here. Question: Who said this? We will continue to investigate any credible and relevant allegations and review our policy in light of any findings. Answer:  ...

11th December 2011 By

Mapping Statelessness in the UK

After FM questioned his will to live following this analysis of the judgment in Sapkota v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1320 I volunteered to have a read through the UNHCR and Asylum Aid joint study Mapping Stateless ...

8th December 2011 By

Iraq Country Guidance Overturned

The controversial Country Guideline case of HM and Others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2010] UKUT 331 (IAC) has been quashed by the Court of Appeal. See the order here. The case of HM should no longer be followed as paragraph 2 of the order provides that ...

2nd December 2011 By

Yet more Tribunal decisions

After what felt like something of a hiatus early in the year, the tribunal has been churning out new reported cases in recent months as if there was no tomorrow. As far as I know no-one has suggested scrapping the Immigration and Asylum Chamber YET, a ...

4th October 2011 By

Giving torturers a voice: UK Border Agency country information

I have seen many country of origin information (COI) reports in my time, and I am generally a big fan of them, but the current UK Border Agency one on Sri Lanka is genuinely shocking. The COI unit at the Agency asked the British High Commission to mak ...

18th August 2011 By

Turf war’s genesis

Pierce Glynn and Stephen Knaffler QC have broadened the path (pun intended*) with SL and Westminster City Council (The Medical Foundation and Mind intervening) [2011] EWCA Civ 954. The case concerns a failed asylum seeker who, following a period as ...

16th August 2011 By

Dublin returns to Cyprus

R (on the application of Elayathamby) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWHC 2182 (Admin) (11 August 2011) The case concerned a challenge to the removal of a mandate refugee to the Republic of Cyprus under the Dublin Regulations II. ...

11th August 2011 By

Critical report on UKBA use of country information

The Chief Inspector of UKBA, John Vine, two weeks ago released a new report on the use of country information by the UK Border Agency in asylum claims. I’ve been too busy to finish writing about it, unfortunately, and am still catching up on va ...

28th July 2011 By

UKBA to Libyans: PLEASE don’t claim asylum

The UK Border Agency can be very generous and understanding when it wants to be. For some reason, Libyans currently in the UK whose visas are running out are being told that they don’t need to meet the rules required for an extension, they don&# ...

22nd July 2011 By

More tribunal decisions

Another series of edictsreported cases has been handed down by the Upper Tribunal. Official headnotes and links to the BAILII judgments are included below. I’ve also thrown in another couple of cases that slipped out since the last big batch. We ...

18th July 2011 By

Batch of new tribunal decisions

The legal luggage carousel of the tribunal’s reporting committee has deposited a large batch of new cases in the arrivals hall of BAILII. Some of these cases are interesting, others perhaps a little less so. The more interesting include a couple ...

30th June 2011 By

Strasbourg allows Somali test case

The cases of Sufi and Elmi v UK (Applications nos. 8319/07 and 11449/07) have been allowed by the European Court of Human Rights. This is a major judgment on return to Somalia and the conditions there. The press release can be found here and the ...

28th June 2011 By

More on breach of asylum confidentiality

Further to Shivani’s last post on this, the numbers facing removal on the charter flight to Sri Lanka are lower than originally thought, although it still constitutes a mass removal. Evidence of other breaches of confidentiality in Sri Lankan ...

14th June 2011 By

Breach of confidentiality in Sri Lankan asylum return

An investigation is required as a matter of extreme urgency into an accepted breach of confidentiality in respect of the case of a Sri Lankan Tamil woman detained by the UKBA and pending removal to Sri Lanka on 16 June 2011. It is important to stress ...

10th June 2011 By

Lives in the balance

Last weekend I finally read the Refugee Council report Lives in the Balance: The quality of immigration legal advice given to separated children seeking asylum. It is a short, sharp, very depressing but absolutely essential read for any solicitors, O ...

2nd June 2011 By

Treatment of rape, trauma and delay in asylum cases

Ever since the mysterious disappearance of the IAA Gender Guidelines from the old IAA website, there has been an absence of good guidance to immigration judges on gender issues in an immigration context. The Equal Treatment Benchbook has a very good c ...

13th May 2011 By

“Still the merry-go-round goes round, and round, and round again”

The Court of Appeal shows its despair at the immigration tribunal in the case of RM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 428 (13 April 2011). All three judges lament the fact that they have to remit the case back to ...

13th April 2011 By

Children, family tracing and section 55

Firstly, I should apologise for getting behind with my updates. I have nominally been on holiday this last week and my internet connection, perhaps fortuitously for my holiday, died unexpectedly half way through. Briefly, we have seen a major judgment ...

25th March 2011 By

Age assessment disputes and JR claims

A slightly belated post to highlight another important decision of the Court of Appeal that will have relevance to both immigration and family law practitioners.  R (FZ) v London Borough of Croydon [2011] EWCA Civ 59 concerns age dispute assessments ...

18th March 2011 By

New Zimbabwe Country Guidance out

The long awaited new Country Guidance case on Zimbabwe is finally out: EM and Others (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2011] UKUT 98 (IAC) (BAILII link here). It includes interesting guidance not only on Zimbabwean asylum claims but also on dealing with cases ...

14th March 2011 By

New Family Returns Process

The Home Office has introduced a new way of dealing with the return of families from the UK. It is called the ‘family return process’. If it is faithfully implemented by staff on the ground (a big ‘if’), it represents a massive ...

10th March 2011 By

Damages denied for deprivation of permission to work

Mr Justice Collins has rejected a claim for damages by an asylum seeker who was kept waiting for over a year for a decision on his claim and whose application for permission to work was not decided by the Home Office. The case is R (on the applicatio ...

8th March 2011 By

Child asylum claims take LONGER to process

In what to me is a shocking development, we learn through the case of R (on the application of AO) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWHC 110 (Admin) (28 January 2011) that it actually takes the UK Border Agency longer to process a ...

7th February 2011 By

Tribunal catch up

There have been a few quite interesting tribunal determinations recently, which I have overlooked for various reasons. I thought it was high time for a catch up, otherwise I’ll never force myself to sit down and digest them. MJB (Inability to pr ...

26th January 2011 By

Returns to Greece unlawful, says Strasbourg

The European Court of Human Rights has just held that it is unlawful to send asylum seekers to Greece under what is widely known as the ‘Dublin II’ Regulation for their asylum claims to be processed there. The case is MSS v Greece and Belg ...

21st January 2011 By

Jesus refused asylum: full decision letter leaked

Although not quite on the scale of Wikileaks, Free Movement can today publish a confidential leaked document from the UK Government. It is entirely in keeping with the traditional Home Office practice of bundling as many immigrants out of the country ...

24th December 2010 By

Sri Lankan fresh claims

Welcome to the first post on Free Movement not by freemovement! Several of us in the immigration team at Renaissance Chambers will be contributing posts to this blog in future, and this is the first effort. You may need to bear with us a little as we ...

10th December 2010 By

New Immigration Rules laid

New Immigration Rules have just been laid in Statement of Changes CM 7944. The main change is that the English language requirement for spouses and partners has been introduced, as expected. It takes effect for new applications made on or after 29 Nov ...

1st October 2010 By

Zimbabwe removals still suspended

As recently as 14 September 2010 the Government’s position was that it is not enforcing returns to Zimbabwe. In a debate in the Commons on that day the following question and answer were given: Keith Vaz (Leicester East) (Lab): Given the critica ...

29th September 2010 By

New Zimbabwe fact finding report

UKBA has published a new fact finding report on the situation in Zimbabwe. It is, probably not by co-incidence, just in time for the new test case on Zimbabwe, due to begin on 20 October 2010 and in which the Immigration Advosory Service are again act ...

28th September 2010 By

Eliza Doolittle Exposed As Cockney Flower Girl Shocker

The methods and reports of controversial linguistic analysis company Sprakab, based in Sweden and used by UKBA in disputed nationality asylum cases, have been warmly endorsed by the tribunal in the case RB (Linguistic evidence Sprakab) Somalia [2010] ...

27th September 2010 By

New Iraqi Country Guideline case out

The tribunal has held that it is safe to return to Iraq. In HM and Others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2010] UKUT 331 (IAC) President Blake finds that The degree of indiscriminate violence characterising the current armed conflict taking place in Iraq is ...

23rd September 2010 By

Removals to Greece suspended

The Government has confirmed that removals to Greece under the Dublin II Regulation have been suspended pending the outcome of the test case. This comes following a number of recent news items on the calamity that is the Greek asylum ‘systemR ...

22nd September 2010 By

New policy on children

UKBA has published a new policy on dealing with children, specifically asylum applications by unaccompanied children. It went ‘live’ on 1 September 2010 and can be found with the earlier link or in the Asylum Process Guidance Special Cases ...

14th September 2010 By

Lions Led By Donkeys?

The tragic demise of Refugee and Migrant Justice, formerly known as the Refugee Legal Centre, leaves a gaping and unfillable void in the immigration sector. With its higher than average success rate and top notch training and nurturing programme for a ...

7th September 2010 By

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