All Articles: Asylum

Iraqi military doctor wins refugee exclusion appeal

The extremely long-running case of AB (preserved FtT findings; Wisniewski principles) Iraq [2020] UKUT 268 (IAC) has finally been allowed outright, subject to any further appeal from the Secretary of State. The appellant, an Iraqi doctor employed to w ...

16th September 2020 By

Channel boat people are refugees, Home Office officials confirm

Migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats are overwhelmingly genuine refugees, senior Home Office officials have confirmed. Evidence presented to the Home Affairs committee of MPs on 3 September makes clear that the majority of those making ...

4th September 2020 By

I stopped two unlawful removals last week – how does that make me an “activist lawyer”?

On 26 August 2020 at 7:45, a flight chartered by the Home Office took off from Stansted airport, heading for France via Dusseldorf. The passengers were asylum seekers from countries such as Iran, Sudan and Yemen. A similar flight took off two weeks be ...

1st September 2020 By

Briefing: the support system for migrant victims of human trafficking

When the Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced, it was heralded by the government as a momentous piece of legislation which would “give protection to the victims who need it”. The Act introduced a reformed system for identifying, supporting and p ...

24th August 2020 By

Refugee rights under threat from Channel boats hysteria – and Brexit

Human beings crossing the English Channel are making headlines again. The number of people who reach the UK via this extremely difficult, dangerous but lawful route is minuscule, and the total number claiming international protection here insignifican ...

12th August 2020 By

Court of Appeal backs order to disclose refugee asylum records

The Court of Appeal has backed a High Court decision that a mother and child’s asylum records must be disclosed in family proceedings. In H (A Child) (Disclosure of Asylum Documents) [2020] EWCA Civ 1001, the court rejected arguments that the family ...

6th August 2020 By

Landmark decision on “particular social group”

DH (Particular Social Group: Mental Health) Afghanistan [2020] UKUT 223 (IAC) is an important case for numerous reasons. It affirms the supremacy of the Refugee Convention 1951 over EU law by reference to the Convention’s object and purpose; it ...

27th July 2020 By

Can Hong Kong activists get political asylum in the UK?

Simon Cheng, a former British consulate worker in Hong Kong, was allegedly abducted by the Chinese authorities during a trip to mainland China and tortured for fifteen days in August 2019. His account is terrifying. Cheng was a vocal supporter of the ...

15th July 2020 By

Judge orders Home Office to bring asylum seeker back to the UK

The President of the Upper Tribunal, Mr Justice Lane, has ordered the Home Office to pay for and facilitate the return to the UK of a man who was removed to Nigeria in March 2018. The judgment is R (L) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [202 ...

13th July 2020 By

Asylum, sexuality and concealment: where are we a decade on from HJ (Iran)?

On 7 July 2010, the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in HJ (Iran) [2010] UKSC 31, in which it established how asylum applications are to be decided when applicants flee persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation. The ruling e ...

7th July 2020 By

When is a policy not a policy? Tribunal tackles law on disclosure

BH (policies/information: SoS’s duties) Iraq [2020] UKUT 189 (IAC) was the case of an Iraqi Kurd, heard by the Upper Tribunal sitting in Edinburgh. The issue was whether the First-tier Tribunal judge had erred in law because he had not considere ...

22nd June 2020 By

Survivors of torture are let down by the asylum interview

The Windrush scandal first made headlines in 2018, but the Home Office is now facing intensified public scrutiny over its role in mistakes that caused profound suffering for so many members of the Windrush generation. Calls for accountability have gai ...

16th June 2020 By

Worrying Strasbourg decision on sending asylum seekers back to Sudan

In SA v The Netherlands (application no. 49773/15), the European Court of Human Rights has issued a judgment which should concern those representing Sudanese asylum seekers. It is not a Grand Chamber decision and the main point of contention was the c ...

16th June 2020 By

The Refugee Convention: who are refugees and asylum seekers?

This piece is about refugees, asylum seekers, and the Refugee Convention. It outlines who can be a refugee, and how being a refugee and having “refugee status” are two very different things. We also explore the rights and entitlements avai ...

5th June 2020 By

No European Convention on Human Rights jurisdiction over humanitarian visa refusal

The European Court of Human Rights has declined an invitation to extend the jurisdiction of the Convention to cover applications made for a visa to enter a given country and claim asylum. In M.N. and Others v. Belgium (application no. 3599/18), the St ...

4th June 2020 By

The government’s stance on Vietnamese trafficking victims is misconceived

Asylos and ARC Foundation recently released a new report, Vietnam: Returned victims of trafficking, about the risks of re-trafficking, state protection and internal relocation for Vietnamese victims of trafficking returned from the UK. The report prov ...

3rd June 2020 By

Family court judge orders refugee to disclose her asylum records

The High Court has looked further at when details of an asylum claim can be shared in family proceedings. The judgment in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No. 2) [2020] EWHC 1036 (Fam) applies previously established principles to a part ...

27th May 2020 By

Luxembourg set to undermine Home Office position on clan protection in Somalia

A quick note on this Advocate General’s Opinion fresh from Luxembourg on the Qualification Directive. The case is C‑255/19 Secretary of State for the Home Department v OA. The Qualification Directive sets out the criteria for determining asylum cl ...

12th May 2020 By

UK-Greece migration pact does too little for refugee children

Greece and the UK have signed a new strategic action plan committing to further their cooperation on migration. It has gone largely unreported in mainstream media, but some Greek and English news outlets noted that the joint plan includes the reloca ...

11th May 2020 By

New Kabul country guidance: individualised assessment of relocation required

In AS (Safety of Kabul) Afghanistan CG [2020] UKUT 130 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal has approved its 2018 decision that a returning male in good health can safely and reasonably relocate to Kabul subject to individual factors. That decision had been set a ...

11th May 2020 By

New Dublin III policy brings significant changes for family reunification

On 30 April 2020 the Home Office published an updated policy on the Dublin III Regulation which has some significant changes for family reunification cases. The new policy includes updates on Article 9, Article 13.2 (entry and/or stay), Article 17.2 ( ...

5th May 2020 By

Asylum seeker to be sent back to Italy under Dublin III rules despite being interviewed in the UK

In R (Habte) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 967 (Admin), the High Court has decided that conducting a substantive asylum interview does not amount to assuming responsibility for the asylum claim under Article 17(1) of the Dub ...

28th April 2020 By

Fellow worshippers can’t give “expert evidence” on religious conversion, tribunal holds

Two important (but completely different) points arise from the Upper Tribunal’s decision in MH (review; slip rule; church witnesses) Iran [2020] UKUT 125 (IAC), one concerning religious conversion cases and the other concerning clerical errors in a ...

24th April 2020 By

Flawed Calais camp process didn’t breach human rights of children rejected

The Court of Appeal has returned to the legal issues arising from the closure of the Calais refugee camp in September 2016 and section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, which forced the Home Office to develop a process for admitting unaccompanied childr ...

15th April 2020 By

Home Office evicted asylum seeker with COVID-19 symptoms

The Home Office evicted an asylum seeker with mental health problems and symptoms of COIVD-19, leaving him on the streets for over a week, it has emerged. The man has since been rehoused by order of the High Court, but his lawyers say the incident is ...

9th April 2020 By

Ten-minute asylum interview enough to meet ECHR obligations before removal

In Asady and Others v Slovakia (application no. 24917/15) the European Court of Human Rights has delivered another judgment that will gratify governments seeking to use summary removal to get rid of asylum seekers. The decision continues the courtR ...

7th April 2020 By

Supreme Court says immigration tribunal can decide for itself if appellant was trafficked

In the case of MS (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 9, handed down today, the Supreme Court has confirmed that the immigration tribunal can and must decide for itself whether an appellant was a victim of trafficking. ...

18th March 2020 By

Writing incredibly credible statements: the key to winning your clients’ cases

In asylum and criminal deportation and probably all areas of immigration, credibility is the key. Some of my own techniques for building credibility into a statement include:  I “read” or “watch” the client’s narrative like a novel or a fil ...

10th March 2020 By

Removing Afghan Sikhs does not breach their Article 3 rights

The Sikh community in Afghanistan used to be a sizeable religious minority within that country, but the effect of persecution over the past 30 years has meant that 99% have now emigrated. The United Nations and other international observers estimate t ...

5th March 2020 By

Upper Tribunal grants refugee family reunion outside the Immigration Rules

KF et ors (entry clearance, relatives of refugees) Syria [2019] UKUT 413 (IAC) concerns an 18-year-old Syrian refugee sponsor, whose mother, father and younger siblings applied for family reunion with him. The key principles identified by the tribunal ...

3rd March 2020 By

The gospel according to Iran: new country guidance case on Christian converts

Over 11 years since the decision in SZ and JM (Christians – FS confirmed) Iran CG [2008] UKAIT 82, the Upper Tribunal has revisited the question of risk on return for certain groups of Christians in Iran. The result is PS (Christianity – risk) ...

27th February 2020 By