Report: “Serious irreversible harm” test case heard in Court of Appeal

This week, Lord Justices Elias, Richards and McCombe sat in the Court of Appeal and heard the first test cases against Section 94B of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Section 94B, introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 and which came into force on 28th July 2014, provides the Home Office the power to certify human rights claims made by people liable to deportation, so they are not entitled to an appeal within the UK. Instead they are expected to bring their appeal from the country in which the Home Office propose deportation. This logic has been catchily titled “deport first, appeal later” and the Conservatives pledged in their manifesto to…

25th September 2015 By Mia Light

From ABC to DSSH: How to prove that you are a gay refugee?

In an e-mail posting on a practitioners’ discussion group last week, a representative asked the group for details of a psychiatrist in order to prove that the detained client is gay. In follow-up e-mails, it was revealed that the enquiry was prompted by Counsel’s advice, and that the author meant no offence. Luckily for the author of the enquiry, the Court of Justice of the European Union last Thursday published the Opinion of Advocate General Sharpston in the Cases of A, B and C , which relate to how an asylum seeker could establish that they are gay, or more importantly, what level of investigation would violate their human rights?

23rd July 2014 By S Chelvan

Working with migrant children survey

In the past eighteen months Migrant Legal Project (MLP) has represented a number of Vietnamese minors on remand or serving Detention and Training Orders at Young Offender Institutes. All had been picked up for criminal offences relating to cannabis cultivation. Forced labour for cannabis cultivation is the most common form of child trafficking in the UK and Vietnam is the single largest source country for child victims of trafficking. We have put together a short survey to assess how widespread the problem of re-trafficking, re-prosecution and removal/deportation of trafficked children is and to explore how legal practitioners currently respond. We are hugely grateful for all responses:

19th June 2014 By Colin Yeo

New judgment on delays by Home Office in judicial review cases

The Upper Tribunal has in a new judgment [R (on the application of Kumar & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (acknowledgement of service; Tribunal arrangements) (IJR) [2014] UKUT 104 (IAC)] now set out how it will deal with the vast majority of judicial reviews in which the Home Office fail to provide a timely Acknowledgment of Service. The ruling almost entirely follows the form anticipated in our blog post following the hearing. The most surprising feature of the final form of the judgment is that, despite a pretty clear indication at the hearing that these ‘special arrangements’ would have a clear end date following which the ordinary…

3rd March 2014 By James Packer

The Importance Of Being Genuine

Around 3,000 couples in England and Wales will tie the knot tomorrow (Saturday 15 February). According to a Home Office guestimate between 48 and 123 of these marriages will be ‘sham’, which is to say they will not be ‘genuine and subsisting’ as required by UK Immigration Rules. But what does a ‘genuine’ marriage look like? It is not a matter of coincidence that the etymology of ‘genuine’ derives from the Latin for “native, natural” and shares a root with the claim for paternity (‘genus’). Love based on ‘chemistry’ or a ‘natural connection’ is considered the principle ingredient of marriage in most western countries today.

14th February 2014 By Natasha Carver

New guidance on handling Home Office delay in judicial review cases

Routine, repeated delay in providing Acknowledgements of Service by the Home Office in judicial review cases reached such a pitch in 2013 that the court held a hearing into the matter (as previously covered on this blog). The Home Office blamed a rise in the number of claims, though from my own experience I conclude that an unthinking and rigid approach to Points Based System and family immigration Appendix FM applications, coupled with the ongoing failure to clear backlogs of applications made years ago, despite repeated promises to do so — and even announcements that this has been completed — is the ultimate cause.

28th January 2014 By James Packer

Zahir Chowdhury (1941-2013)

I first met Zahir when he transferred to the United Kingdom Immigrants Advice Service (UKIAS) office in Manchester in 1974. I often recall sitting in his office discussing cases, seeking his expert advice and telling him of our plans for the development of the offices in the North. Sadly UKIAS and its successor the Immigration Advisory Service (IAS) are no more, but their legacy lives on in the many of us who worked with, were trained and were shaped by Zahir and other unsung heroes in the development of Immigration, European, international and human rights law and practice.

7th October 2013 By Rheba Glazier

Go Back To Where You Came From

Kent Martin is a regular and long time Free Movement reader and sent this in for the blog. I thought it made an interesting contrast to the absence of positive media coverage in this country. I’m an Australian/Brit who has spent over a decade in both countries and have been horrified by the race to the bottom of politics in both countries.

7th August 2013 By Colin Yeo

Are the UK’s mass deportation charter flights lawful?

The London-based research group Corporate Watch has just published a 20-page briefing examining the lawfulness the UK’s mass deportation charter flights. Part of a forthcoming report by Corporate Watch and the campaign group Stop Deportations, it aims to provide campaigners and legal practitioners with some arguments and tools with which to challenge the legality of these flights. This post provides a short summary of the main arguments and findings. The main focus of the briefing is Protocol No. 4 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), which prohibits the “collective expulsion of aliens.”

29th July 2013 By Shiar Youssef

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 decision allowing the two conjoined appeals both by a two to one majority, is available on the Court of Session’s own website at M.AB.N. and K.A.S.Y. v. The Advocate General for Scotland representing the Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] CSIH 68 (12 July 2013). The Home Office have (it is calculated) until 23rd August to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court, but the Inner…

24th July 2013 By Joe Bryce

The ‘Hostile Environment Working Group’

This last weekend saw Sarah Teather reveal the mindset of Government towards migration, explaining her frustration at the lack of alternative voices on migration. I have previously written about the need for responsible journalism, but in hindsight this was probably unfair on the media.

16th July 2013 By Alex Mik

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 Lanka where they have gone on to be tortured? All who are involved in asylum work wrestle with some or all of these questions. Professor Anthony Good, Professor Emeritus in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, has sought to provide answers through conducting analysis of Home Office policy documents and guidance for asylum caseworkers. Professor Good presented his findings at a MEDACT conference last month. Drawing…

4th July 2013 By Guest

Migrant domestic worker labour rights under fire

For the second time in as many months, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has dismissed a direct discrimination claim brought by a migrant domestic worker against her employer. In this case and an earlier case, the Claimants were Nigerian nationals who had come to the UK on domestic worker visas and both were treated abominably by their employers; they were made to work for very long hours (over 80 hours per week), paid a pittance (£50 per month in one case), had very limited rest periods and were subject to threats and abuse by their employers (passports confiscated, threats of violence when they complained etc). In each case the Employment…

24th May 2013 By Richard Bennett

What hope after LASPO: Time to re-visit Maaouia ?

This post by Frances Meyler and Sarah Woodhouse, Co-Directors of the Liverpool Law Clinic, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, examines some of the arguments that might be put forward in an application for an ‘Exceptional Case Determination’. It focuses on articles 6 and 13 of the ECHR and also Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. The post draws from a review by the authors entitled ‘Changing the immigration rules and withdrawing the ‘currency’ of legal aid: the impact of LASPO 2012 on migrants and their families’, appearing in this month’s special legal aid issue of Journal of Social Welfare & Family…

26th April 2013 By Frances Meyler

Case of Wray successfully appealed

Email in from David Jones at Garden Court Chambers: Just wanted to drop you a line as it has been flagged up to me that Mark Wray v SSHD [2010] EWHC 3301, a case with which I have been involved, has been relied on in judgments to support interference with Article 8 rights on proportionality grounds in family life cases on the basis of the need to maintain an effective immigration control without more. The case has also been referred to on par with Ekinci v SSHD [2003] EWCA 765 as a case where “an individual is a clear threat and commits heinous crimes such that there is an obvious…

13th March 2013 By Free Movement

Defending quality in the asylum system – three reports from Asylum Aid

Last week, Asylum Aid published three research reports into the state of legal aid funding for fighting asylum cases. Taken together, they expose the corrosive effect on quality of the switch to the Graduated Fixed Fee (GFF) funding system in 2007 and the threat to the continuation of quality work now – but also maps how government and solicitors can work together to maintain quality in the future. The background The Early Legal Advice Project (ELAP) has been running in the East Midlands UK Border Agency region for more than a year. Building on the positive findings of an earlier pilot in Solihull, ELAP tests the hypothesis that better asylum…

1st March 2013 By Russell Hargrave