All Articles: Human rights

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

Comment: being non-racist is not enough

Racism is the belief that one racial group is above another racial group. It is supported by structural power. Structural power shows up in different ways and ensures unequal distribution of resources through laws, policies and behaviours amongst raci ...

26th August 2020 By

Challenge to Brook House detention conditions rebuffed by High Court

The High Court has refused a challenge to the conditions at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre in 2017 on all grounds. This is despite the Home Office having made a number of changes to the regime provided by G4S since then in response to criticis ...

25th August 2020 By

No Home Office duty of care to migrants hit by delays confirming leave to remain

The case of Advocate General for Scotland v Adiukwu [2020] CSIH 47 answers the question of whether the Home Office has a private law duty to grant a person discretionary leave to remain and issue them with a letter to allow them to take up employment ...

21st August 2020 By

Human rights court approves deportation of man who arrived aged four

In Pormes v The Netherlands (application no. 25402/14), the European Court of Human Rights has approved the deportation of a man who had lived in the Netherlands between the ages of four and 29, on the basis of multiple convictions for indecent assaul ...

11th August 2020 By

There’s actually no right to family life in the UK

Everyone in the UK has the right to respect for their family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But as a migrant from outside the European Economic Area, what do you actually need in order to be able to stay in the UK on ...

30th July 2020 By

This is what the Court of Appeal decided about Shamima Begum – and what happens next

In Begum v Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) [2020] EWCA Civ 918, the Court of Appeal has ordered that Shamima Begum be granted leave to enter the UK so that she can participate in her deprivation of citizenship appeal. The court also orde ...

16th July 2020 By

Forced prostitution covered by Article 4, says European Court of Human Rights

S.M. v Croatia (application no. 60561/14) is an odd case to read. It is very long, running to 356 paragraphs and several concurring judgments, and refers to a wide variety of international law sources. But its conclusion is straightforward: forced pro ...

6th July 2020 By

Race, racism and immigration in the United Kingdom: Black Lives Matter

The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has shone a light on the ongoing difference in the treatment of black and white citizens in the United States. It is right and proper to think also about racism here in the United Kingdom. As ...

10th June 2020 By

Strasbourg approves deportation of Dutch-born man from the Netherlands

Chucking people out of a country they were born in is hard. It usually takes something pretty dramatic or pretty terrible — or both, as in the case of Azerkane v The Netherlands (application no. 3138/16). The facts Mr Azerkane was born in the Ne ...

9th 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

“Slip rule” can be used to allow an appeal dismissed by accident

“Devani” in my native language of Punjabi/Urdu roughly translates as “crazy” or “mad”. An apt name for the case of Devani [2020] EWCA Civ 612, because it’s never promising when a judgment starts by saying “this appeal has a complic ...

14th May 2020 By

Supreme Court offers hope to seriously ill migrants facing deportation and death

In the case of AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 17 the Supreme Court has widened the protection available to seriously ill migrants facing deportation from the UK and subsequent death for want of medical treatmen ...

1st May 2020 By

People who lie to the Home Office are unlikely to get indefinite leave to remain

Last year, in the important case of Balajigari [2019] EWCA Civ 673, the Court of Appeal ruled that, before refusing a settlement application on the basis that the person applying has been dishonest, the Home Office must: Let the applicant know that th ...

28th April 2020 By

Briefing: what is leave outside the Rules?

Anyone whose life consists of daily references to the Immigration Rules will tell you that the experience can feel a lot like deep ocean exploration in the Mariana Trench: despite constant research, you will still make new discoveries, even when you t ...

27th April 2020 By

Reasonableness, removals and children back in Court of Appeal spotlight

The vexed issue of reasonableness, removals and children is back in the judicial spotlight once more in a new Court of Appeal ruling, Runa v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 514. The case involved an appeal against a refusal ...

14th 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

Home Office can ignore human rights claims bolted on to normal immigration applications

The case of MY (refusal of human rights claim) Pakistan [2020] UKUT 89 (IAC) represents yet another cutback in the rights of migrant victims of domestic abuse, and in appeal rights more generally. The Upper Tribunal has ruled that the Home Office can ...

30th March 2020 By

You can now raise new matters before the Upper Tribunal

In Birch (Precariousness and mistake; new matters : Jamaica) [2020] UKUT 86 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal looks at the “precarious leave” provisions where a person wrongly believed that they had indefinite leave to remain. It also identifies a loophole ...

26th March 2020 By

Family life: substance over form

Uddin v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 338 is an important case in which the outgoing Senior President of Tribunals provides the judges who serve in his Immigration and Asylum Chamber with very strong guidance on mixed cred ...

18th March 2020 By

Legal battle to stop Home Office dispatching a 10-year-old for female genital mutilation

The High Court has granted a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order in the case of a 10-year-old girl who the Home Office is trying to remove to Bahrain. The case is A (A child) (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order Application) [2020] EWHC ...

13th 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

Judicial review challenge to restricted leave policy fails

The Upper Tribunal has dismissed a judicial review of the restricted leave policy. This policy governs the grant of leave to remain in the UK to people who the Home Office wishes to remove but cannot because it would breach the European Convention on ...

3rd March 2020 By

Mass pushbacks of migrants not always a violation of human rights, Grand Chamber rules

In a mammoth new judgment the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has developed a significant exception to the general prohibition on summary removal of migrants without consideration of their individual circumstances. In recent years ...

20th February 2020 By

No need to investigate treatment options for seriously ill migrants being removed

AXB (Art 3 health: obligations; suicide) Jamaica [2019] UKUT 397 (IAC) is the latest in a series of cases which have tried to transpose the decision of Paposhvili v Belgium (application no. 41738/10) into domestic law. Paposhvili was an unusual case ...

16th January 2020 By

When voluntary return is not voluntary at all

In recent years the United Kingdom government has resorted to indirect measures like the hostile environment to force people to leave the UK, alongside directly removing people. The government can then claim that the person left the UK voluntarily, an ...

20th December 2019 By

EU children can be lawfully resident in the UK without exercising treaty rights

The Upper Tribunal judgment in MS (British citizenship; EEA appeals) Belgium [2019] UKUT 356 (IAC) confirms that certain EU citizen children in the UK can be considered lawfully resident for the purposes of Article 8 of the European Convention on Huma ...

19th November 2019 By

Upper Tribunal opens door for trafficking challenges in human rights appeals

The Upper Tribunal has ruled that human rights appeals may be allowed on the ground that the Secretary of State has unlawfully failed to acknowledge that the appellant is a victim of trafficking. DC (Trafficking, Protection/Human Rights appeals : Alba ...

15th November 2019 By

Court of Appeal revisits human rights in immigration appeals

Following on from the Court of Appeal’s recent human rights “cheatsheet” in GM (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, we now have a gem of a sequel that is Lal v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1925. ...

13th November 2019 By

Split human rights court suggests lower threshold for resisting removal on medical grounds

In Savran v Denmark (application no. 57467/15) the European Court of Human Rights has reinforced the importance, in Article 3 medical treatment cases, of the obligation on governments to obtain assurances where there is any doubt as to the impact of r ...

15th October 2019 By

Court of Appeal cheatsheet on human rights in immigration cases

In GM (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1630, handed down on Friday, the Court of Appeal provides a helpful summary of where we currently stand with private and family life cases under Article 8 of the European C ...

8th October 2019 By

Father of three with sickle cell disease faces deportation for drug offences after six-year appeal saga

The deportation case of a Nigerian man with sickle cell disease, resident in the UK for almost three decades, has been bouncing around the UK court system for over six years. It appears the case has finally been settled by the Court of Appeal – on i ...

9th July 2019 By

“In limbo”: migrants stripped of leave to remain in the UK but can’t be removed

The Court of Appeal has handed down guidance on “limbo” cases in RA (Iraq) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 850. These are cases where a migrant cannot be removed from the UK because, for example, conditions in thei ...

24th May 2019 By
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