An immigration lawyer reviews Paddington 2: life in the hostile environment

Warning: contains spoilers. And information about the plot too. Let me say at the outset that Paddington 2 is a deeply unrealistic film. As a Paddington fan and father of two young children I had no problem suspending my disbelief to allow for a talking bear. I was, for the duration of the film at least, relaxed about the idea that an elegant crescent near Portobello Road might be populated by actual living, working Londoners. The absence of electronic screens from Brown family life seemed natural. It did not cross my mind, at the time, how improbable was the existence of multiple functioning red telephone boxes. I could even accept,…

13th November 2017 By Colin Yeo

Book review: The Child in International Refugee Law by Jason Pobjoy

The Child in International Refugee Law by Jason Pobjoy, a barrister at Blackstone Chambers, is an extremely useful, practical and important contribution to the international protection of child refugees. I cannot do better than Pobjoy’s own summary of the themes that run through this work: The hypothesis advanced in this book is that progressive developments in the interpretation of the Refugee Convention, coupled with a greater understanding of the relationship between international refugee law and international law on the rights of the child, enable the Convention to respond in a sophisticated and principled way to refugee claims brought by children. This will require a creative alignment between refugee law and…

27th October 2017 By Colin Yeo

“Madness, despair and horror” at Halloween

With Halloween approaching, a refugee charity is combining spooky tales with support for free movement. The Dead Poets Live event in London on Saturday 28 October promises “the most terrifying poems ever written”, read by a collection of well-known actors. It is not known whether the works of “madness, despair and horror” derive from Appendix FM but enquiries are ongoing. The remaining tickets are £13, with all proceeds going to Safe Passage. The charity says that it has helped to settle 1,150 refugee children in the UK since beginning work in 2015 as a partnership between Islington Law Centre, Bhatt Murphy and Doughty Street Chambers. It will issue judicial review proceedings…

26th October 2017 By Conor James McKinney

New ebook now available: Naturalising as a British citizen

Our new ebook guide Naturalising as a British citizen is now available for purchase for £9.99 (free for Free Movement members). For most people, an application for naturalisation is something they can complete on their own. This ebook helps individual applicants to do just that. In 2016 just shy of 150,000 foreign nationals naturalised as British citizens. But 8% of applications were rejected, the majority because of failure to meet the “good character” and residence requirements. As the cost of an unsuccessful application is almost £1,300 – this processing fee is retained by the Home Office regardless of the outcome – £9.99 is a worthwhile investment for peace of mind. This comprehensive…

19th October 2017 By Colin Yeo

ILPA annual free movement seminar: report

What can immigration lawyers do when immigration law is uncertain? This was not, admittedly, the advertised theme of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association annual seminar on free movement, which took place on 4 October. But the enervating effects of unpredictability and ambiguity in immigration law and policy ran through most every contribution. Elspeth Guild’s opening remarks reminded us of the lack of legal certainty for EU citizens in the UK, with some clients beginning to “pack up and leave”. It was a point ably taken up by ILPA chair Adrian Berry, who took us at a rapid clip through the latest policy papers and declarations of the government. Even policy…

12th October 2017 By Conor James McKinney

Book review: The Making of an Immigration Judge by James Hanratty RD

James Hanratty RD, known as a compassionate and sometimes rather unconventional judge, will be a familiar name and indeed face to any London-based barrister specialising in immigration work. I for one was relieved rather than panicked when I would see that he was my client’s allocated judge in the morning on arrival at Hatton Cross. Published by Quartet, Mr Hanratty’s (I cannot really call him anything else I’m afraid) memoir is entitled The Making of an Immigration Judge. It covers Mr Hanratty’s early years, his first steps in law, his work at the Lord Chancellor’s Department, his two separate postings to Hong Kong and his membership of various private clubs….

11th October 2017 By Colin Yeo

Book review: A Guide to the Immigration Act 2016 by Alison Harvey and Zoe Harper

If you want to look up how the Immigration Act 2016 works in practice, A Guide to the Immigration Act 2016 by Alison Harvey and Zoe Harper is the definitive guide to the legislation. More comprehensive than my own introductory ebook to the Act, Harvey and Harper dive straight into the detail. Every single section of the Act is set out, prefaced with commentary on how it fits into the whole and what the effect of the section is or will be, along with information on commencement, regulations, definitions and devolution. The text is probably too detailed to use for “self training” on the Immigration Act 2016 or on the…

6th October 2017 By Colin Yeo

Full day EU immigration law conference: Glasgow, 8 September 2017

Following a great deal of interest on the Free Movement Forum about a members meet up, Bilaal Shabbir of MBS Solicitors in Scotland has taken the initiative to arrange this in the form of an event in Scotland. An EU themed immigration law conference has now been arranged and will be hosted in Glasgow in an attempt to unite Scottish and English practitioners in this field. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND NEW PERSPECTIVES FROM THE UK’S LEADING PRACTITIONERS AND ACADEMICS WHEN: Friday, 8th September 2017. Registration will open from 9am and the event will close around 4pm followed by an opportunity to network. There will be a lunch break between 12:45pm and…

9th August 2017 By Colin Yeo

An immigration lawyer reviews Paddington

In tribute to beloved author Michael Bond (1926-2017), who died yesterday, I am republishing this blog post reviewing the film Paddington, based on the character created by Bond. The blog post was originally published on 1 December 2014 and versions of it appeared in the New Statesman and Financial Times. Law is pretty abstract. Unlike the role of a doctor or a builder, that of a lawyer is difficult to explain to a young mind. When my children eventually ask me about what I do when I “work” (confusingly simultaneously a place I seem to go to and a thing I do at home; either takes me away from them) my plan is to…

29th June 2017 By Colin Yeo

New charity created to work on identifying and tracing missing and dead refugees: Last Rights

Many go missing and die across the world during refugee and migrant journeys. The names of most dead and missing are unknown; families untraced, bodies buried in unmarked graves. With those affected we will develop protocols on best practice and procedure, based on international human rights law, for those working with dead and missing migrants to make families and their rights visible and ensure that the rights and dignity of the missing and dead are respected as well as those of the bereaved. The Last Rights project is creating a new framework of respect for the rights of missing and dead refugees and bereaved family members. Catriona Jarvis, former UK judge…

22nd June 2017 By Free Movement

Fundraising campaign for refugee family reunion charity Together Now

My brother and his girlfriend are fundraising for the fantastic, small, shoestring charity Together Now. Not a penny is wasted. They work on the practical end of refugee family reunion applications, funding travel costs and sometimes DNA tests and other costs. Parents are sometimes forced to make impossible decisions about how to keep their family safe. Some are forced to leave their children behind as they flee persecution and torture. Once they are granted the right to stay in the UK the first thought of many refugees is to reunite their family. We provide support to parents as they bring their family to join them and help to alleviate some of the practical problems faced…

13th June 2017 By Free Movement

Fundraising appeal for Refugee Advocacy Programme in Uganda

Team Gaenor needs your support to ensure refugees fleeing persecution, conflict and oppression can access Pan African Development Education And Advocacy Programme services, which supports and empowers them to rebuild their lives in Uganda. More refugees entered Uganda last year than crossed the Mediterranean: it is one of the world’s fastest growing refugee crises. 4,500 are arriving every day from Southern Sudan, joining those from neighbouring Somalia, Congo, Burundi, Eritrea and Ethiopia.  Against this backdrop, and with continuing cuts to funding for refugee services in Uganda, PADEAP Uganda is more important than ever. We continue to offer training, legal advice, psycho social support. We pioneered and run the only ‘refugee…

6th June 2017 By Colin Yeo

Book review: Bureaucracy, Law and Dystopia in the United Kingdom’s Asylum System by John Campbell

The first thing to say about this book is that it has a really excellent and entirely appropriate title. The contents do not fail to deliver. Campbell seeks to place immigration and asylum decision making by officials and judges within a wider context, taking into account not just the internalised processes and self perception of individuals operating (or being operated by) the system but also the institutional and cultural influences at work. Campbell is particularly interested in the role, direct and indirect, of the Home Office at all stages in the process, which he finds to be all pervading. Very little academic research or writing has been done on the…

19th May 2017 By Colin Yeo

A Pictorial Guide to Discussing Immigration in Polite Company by JCWI

Excellent from JCWI, and timely too given the election season is upon us: This year, whether at a political hustings, social event or garden fete, it will be seemly to debate immigration with good manners and grace. Brexit, future immigration policy, and integration could all be stumbling blocks for uncoached politicians and journalists. If this seems daunting, never fear! Here are five crucial points of etiquette, to assist you in approaching immigration with a very British sense of politeness. Source: A Guide to Discussing Immigration in Polite Company | Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

16th May 2017 By Colin Yeo

Book review: Nationality and Statelessness in the International Law of Refugee Status by Eric Fripp

In this thoughtful and full exploration of refugee law, nationality and statelessness Eric Fripp explores some interesting and underdeveloped themes. Added to his earlier and excellent work from 2015, The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the United Kingdom, Eric is establishing himself as pre-eminent in this important and growing area of work. The title of Fripp’s latest work, Nationality and Statelessness in the International Law of Refugee Status, almost misleads the casual legal bookshop browser, given that large parts of the book cover the more general topics of the law of refugee status and principles of interpretation. It would be a mistake to see this book purely…

27th April 2017 By Colin Yeo

Upcoming conference on judicial review with HJT Training on 8 December 2016

Hear from David Jones, Mark Symes and Colin Yeo, (Directors of HJT Training), Sandra Akinbolu, of Lamb Building, and Timothy Baldwin. HJT Training’s acclaimed annual judicial review conference gives you the chance to keep up to date and hear from leading practitioners on the implications of the latest developments in judicial review in the immigration field. The conference will be presented by leading practitioners in the Immigration and Asylum field and will include David Jones (founder of HJT Research which provides online country information on human rights conditions in over 80 countries), Mark Symes (co-author of Immigration Appeals and Remedies Handbook of which the Upper Tribunal President says “a compulsory…

15th November 2016 By HJT Training

HJT Judicial Review Conference: 8 December 2016

Hear from David Jones, Mark Symes and Colin Yeo, Directors of HJT Training and tenants at Garden Court Chambers. HJT Training’s acclaimed annual judicial review conference gives you the chance to keep up to date and hear from leading practitioners on the implications of the latest developments in judicial review in the immigration field. The conference will be presented by leading practitioners in the Immigration and Asylum field and will include David Jones (founder of HJT Research which provides online country information on human rights conditions in over 80 countries), Mark Symes (co-author of Immigration Appeals and Remedies Handbook of which the Upper Tribunal President says “a compulsory addition to…

6th September 2016 By Colin Yeo

Petition on immigration appeal fees: please sign

I’m not sure it was very wise to start this petition given how few people have signed it (1,254 at the time of writing). But we are where we are, so if you have not signed yet please do. The proposed increases are staggering. They would make the immigration tribunal the only part of the court and tribunal service funded entirely by appellants and are particularly unaffordable considering the massive immigration application fees act as a fortified gateway to an appeal in the first place.

16th May 2016 By Colin Yeo

Upper Tribunal Judge Retirements: Chalkley and Taylor

Upper Tribunal Judge Richard Chalkley retires with effect from 1 May 2016. Upper Tribunal Judge Chalkley (67) was admitted as a Solicitor in 1974. He was appointed a part-time Immigration Adjudicator in 1995, part-time Special Immigration Adjudicator in 1996, Immigration Adjudicator in 1999, Legal Member of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal in 2000 and Vice President of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal in 2002 (now known as Judge of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)). He was appointed Tribunal Judge of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in 2005. Source: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary | Upper Tribunal Judge Retirement: Chalkley Upper Tribunal Judge Deborah Elizabeth Taylor retires with effect from 5 May…

5th May 2016 By Colin Yeo

New book coming: The Making of an Immigration Judge by James Hanratty

As the western world struggles to cope with the influx of immigrants fleeing tyranny and war, The Making of an Immigration Judge cuts through the hysteria of the headlines to provide a definitive account of the problems facing Europe today – and how we might solve them. With more than a decade’s experience as an immigration judge, James Hanratty has seen the plight of these people first hand and made decisions that changed lives forever. Part memoir, part meditation, the book is written with humility and humour drawing on a lifetime spent in the justice business. From his early days as a clerk in Derbyshire to working at the House…

28th April 2016 By Colin Yeo

I Am A Refugee campaign by JCWI: donations needed

JCWI is running a new fundraising campaing to create a series of plaques in the style of the blue national heritage ones to celebrate the contribution of refugees to our society over time. …In fact refugees have historically been huge contributors to innovation, industry and culture around the world. Refugee populations are hugely diverse, with many different skills, talents and experiences and history shows that time and time again, the successful integration of refugees into a host country brings about many benefits both for the refugees themselves who have found a new home, and the country that welcomes them. You can lean more about it in the video below or on…

21st April 2016 By Colin Yeo

Right to Remain Toolkit

The fantastic organisation Right to Remain have published their Toolkit for migrants seeking to understand and defend their legal position in the UK. It is a great resource and I can highly recommend it: The Right to Remain Toolkit is a guide to the UK immigration and asylum system. It gives an overview of the legal system and procedures, with detailed information on rights and options at key stages, and actions you can take in support of your claim, or to help someone else. Source: Right to Remain Toolkit: Introduction

17th March 2016 By Colin Yeo

JCWI publishes guide to Right to Rent: A Tenant’s Guide to the Landlord Immigration Checks

This guide is intended for tenants and those advising individuals in the private rented sector. This includes those currently renting as well as those seeking a property to rent. It is intended as a guide to ensure that tenants and practitioners understand: The background to the ‘right to rent’ scheme The requirements of the scheme How to prepare for a ‘right to rent’ check How to prove you have the ‘right to rent’ What to do if you do not have the ‘right to rent’ How to recognise discrimination and protect your rights How to challenge discrimination Download JCWI’s: Right to Rent: A Tenant’s Guide to the Landlord Immigration Checks…

17th March 2016 By Colin Yeo

Review: Exploring the boundaries of refugee law

Exploring the boundaries of refugee law, recently published by Brill/Nijhoff as part of their International Refugee Law series, arises from a successful conference hosted by the Refugee Law Initiative in London in 2012. Papers arising therefrom are now presented in this hardback volume, with a thought-provoking essay to set the scene from Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill, who cites another scholar’s resonant phrase to capture the phenomenon whereby important issues that warrant measured consideration are nevertheless said to be solved by “a mischievous phrase, whether it be sovereignty, or independence, or domestic jurisdiction, or whatever the next catchword may be”. He goes on to address a series of barriers to accessing international…

23rd February 2016 By Mark Symes

BHT Brighton Advice Service recruiting immigration solicitor or adviser

Our advice services in Brighton provide specialist legal advice, casework and representation on housing, asylum and immigration matters together with one off advice provided over the telephone or at drop in sessions, and digital advice via webcam on housing and welfare benefits issues. There are two teams, the housing and social welfare team and the asylum and immigration team, comprised of solicitors and caseworkers supported by 2 legal secretaries. Asylum & Immigration Solicitor/Level 2 Advisor (6 month fixed term contract) Salary: £27,354 – £34,128 per annum pro rata (depending on qualification) 22.2 hours per week across 3 days, based in Brighton 4% employer’s pension contribution (the level of this is…

22nd February 2016 By Colin Yeo

Taimour Lay on Do It Yourself fresh asylum and human rights claims: video

A DIY approach is difficult in immigration law. Hardly a year goes by without the higher courts complaining about “a degree of complexity which even the Byzantine emperors would have envied” [as lamented by Jackson LJ in 2013]. This is even more of a problem as legal aid is removed from the jurisdiction for everything but international protection and judicial review – and the “Residence Test” may well put paid to the latter.

8th January 2016 By Taimour Lay

Book review: Immigration Appeals and Remedies Handbook by Symes and Jorro

IMMIGRATION APPEALS AND REMEDIES HANDBOOK By Mark Symes and Peter Jorro (Bloomsbury, 2015) (£37.40) When the President of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber writes a foreword, and the foreword concludes with the words “This is…. a compulsory addition to the library of every immigration judge and practitioner” one gets the picture: something special has been added to the library. The Handbook provides a history of appeal rights in immigration cases and a full explanation of the appeal system under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, that we have known and loved, and that remains in place transitionally. The authors explain clearly and carefully how the staged transition…

5th January 2016 By Stephen Knafler QC

Phelan and Gillespie Immigration Law Handbook 9th edition ebook review

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Christmas

Christmas gift guide edition Is the ebook edition of Phelan and Gillespie’s Immigration Law Handbook (9th edition) the ideal Christmas gift for the immigration lawyer you have the misfortune of loving or being related to? With only two days to go, it isn’t too late to order the ebook edition, which possesses the admirable virtues of: Costing £10 less than the hard copy at only £50.39 Not costing anything in postage and For which it does not matter that you have now missed the last posting date. Will your favourite immigration lawyer thank you, though? Probably not, as this Christmas edition review of the ebook version reveals…

23rd December 2015 By Colin Yeo

HJT Immigration Training Manual now available as ebook for instant download

HJT’s Immigration Training Manual is now available as ebook for instant download for £79. Updated in October the manual is invaluable both to new immigration lawyers learning the ropes and experienced practitioners needing a reference book. In the complex world of immigration, this book is a must. A clear and concise manual on immigration law which makes navigating these complex issues a breeze. -Tori Sicher, Sutovic and Hartigan

10th December 2015 By Colin Yeo

JCWI call for evidence on ‘deport first, appeal later’ scheme

JCWI is calling for evidence on the impact of the ‘deport first, appeal later’ provisions of the Immigration Act 2014, which the Government intends to roll out to all immigration appeals. Deadline is 25 November 2015 so hurry! Details: JCWI call for evidence on ‘deport first, appeal later’ scheme | Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

19th November 2015 By Colin Yeo

Mastering Immigration Law: 15th edition of HJT Training Immigration Manual

The 15th edition of the HJT Manual Mastering Immigration Law is now available. It has been comprehensively updated and re-written by Mark Symes to explain even the most difficult concepts in an easy-to-understand way and to take account of the wholesale reforms to appeals and human rights applications from 2012 to 2015. We cover: An explanation on how to navigate the Immigration Rules and of all the most common routes, showing how Home Office policies fit into the system All aspects of European Union applications including derived residence rights and Zambrano, the various kind of Surinder Singh case, extended family members, Accession and Association countries, and new style “one-stop” EEA appeals Basic principles of nationality law,…

8th October 2015 By HJT Training

Garden Court Chambers Fundamental Rights Conference

Fundamental Rights Conference: a public law perspective Saturday 10 October 2015, 9:45 – 17:00 Venue: LSE New Academic Building 54 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ CPD: 5.5 Garden Court Chambers’ Public Law Team in association with Legal Action Group and the London School of Economics invites you to join us for a day of expert analysis and discussion. For full details and programme visit the Garden Court Chambers website. In the 800th year of the Magna Carta, this day-long conference on Fundamental Rights reflects on the evolution of fundamental rights in the UK and its role in our modern society. At a time when human rights are coming under scrutiny and the…

1st September 2015 By Garden Court Chambers

Review: Finding Home: Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Finding Home: Real Stories of Migrant Britain is a new book by Emily Dugan. Emily is Social Affairs Editor at The Independent and has reported with empathy on immigration issues on a number of occasions. I generally try to avoid films, television and books on immigration and asylum issues simply because I see these things first hand myself through my work. Bringing one’s work home is never healthy and we all need a break. I am glad I made an exception for Emily’s book, though, which I have just finished and which I thoroughly enjoyed.

3rd August 2015 By Colin Yeo

Appeals, Administrative Review & Judicial Regime Conference by HJT Training

Join HJT training for our Appeals, Administrative Review & Judicial Regime Conference on 26 August 2015 in central London where we will explore and expose the imperfections of recent changes to immigration law. Focussing on achieving best outcomes for clients, delegates will come away understanding the practical implications of the new appeal regime and the latest tranche of rule changes and case law. Topics include: New removal arrangements and the Immigration Act 2014 appeals system Administrative Review and Judicial Review Costs in the tribunal Recent changes to Immigration Rules The conference will be lead by HJT Director Mark Symes and Julian Bild. Click here to reserve your place now while there are spaces still available.

31st July 2015 By HJT Training

Review: Detention Under the Immigration Acts by Denholm and Dunlop

What feels like months ago now I was kindly provided with a review copy of Detention Under the Immigration Acts: Law and Practice by Graham Denholm and Rory Dunlop with Lisa Giovannetti QC as Consultant Editor. It has taken me this long to do the actual review because I have not had the chance to use it in anger, so to speak, as I am not currently running any unlawful detention claims. The time has given me the opportunity to dip in and out of the text on a number of occasions, though, and I have been really impressed.

29th June 2015 By Colin Yeo

Job vacancy: Immigration Solicitor / Caseworker Position at ATLEU

Job Title: Immigration Solicitor / Caseworker Salary: circa £30,000 depending on experience Closing date: 9am on 16 July 2015 Interviews: week commencing 20 July 2015 Website: Location: N7 7LL Contact: ATLEU seeks a solicitor or barrister to join its expanding Immigration and Public Law Team. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of two years’ experience in immigration and asylum law. Experience of working under a Legal Aid contract is essential. Further details here.

25th June 2015 By Colin Yeo

Essential principles of advocacy and tribunal procedure

From HJT Training: Essential principles of advocacy and tribunal procedure This is a practical and fun course designed to build confidence and competence in those new to public speaking and advocacy in the Immigration Tribunal. Participants will learn essential principles of advocacy and Tribunal procedure and have the opportunity to practice making submissions in front of the Tribunal using materials based on real cases. Book here.

23rd June 2015 By Colin Yeo

My Skype Family

‘When I discovered the rules, I didn’t believe it at first. I read them again and again – I thought I was dreaming. But sure enough, it did apply to us. I felt helpless. I felt like half a man. I mean – not being able to keep my family together.’ In July 2012, the government radically changed the family migration rules, adding a new minimum income requirement for British nationals wishing to sponsor children, spouses or close family members from outside Europe. 43% of employees in the UK do not earn enough to meet this requirement. Falling in love with a foreigner now comes with a hefty price tag….

11th June 2015 By Colin Yeo