Mixed messages on delays during detention from the High Court

R (SB (Ghana)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2020] EWHC 668 (Admin) is a successful unlawful detention claim in which the High Court was prepared to find a breach of the Hardial Singh principles notwithstanding the claimantâ ...

31st 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

Migrant victim of domestic abuse successfully campaigns for change to student loan rules

In OA v Secretary of State for Education [2020] EWHC 276 (Admin), the High Court has ruled that the student loan regulations unlawfully discriminated against migrant victims of domestic violence and abuse. The rules required three years’ lawful ...

2nd 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

Surinder Singh route still requires genuine residence abroad

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that in order to benefit from the Surinder Singh principle, the family involved must have genuinely resided in another EU country and have created or fortified their family life there. In Kaur & Ors v Secretary of ...

13th February 2020 By

Trafficked woman who fled prostitution gave birth in prison after false passport conviction

In recent years the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) has displayed a willingness to allow late appeals and quash historic convictions to address injustice against victims of human trafficking. This includes using the common law to protect the right ...

10th February 2020 By

Benefit of doubt applies even to abbreviated age assessments

AB v Kent County Council [2020] EWHC 109 (Admin) is about whether an asylum seeker is entitled to the benefit of the doubt even where a local authority decides they are clearly over 18 and therefore does not carry out a full Merton age assessment. AB ...

5th February 2020 By

Rules on early permanent residence rights for retirees confirmed by Court of Justice

In Case C-32/19 AT v Pensionsversicherungsanstalt the Court of Justice of the European Union was asked to review Article 17(1)(a) of the Citizens’ Rights Directive. This provides an exception to the usual requirement of five years’ continuous ...

30th January 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

Vulnerable adults in the immigration tribunal

In SB (vulnerable adult: credibility) Ghana [2019] UKUT 398 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal has provided a steer on how immigration judges should approach evidence given by vulnerable adults, in addition to that provided in the Joint Presidential Guidance No ...

9th January 2020 By

Burden of proof on internal relocation still on appellant says Upper Tribunal

The Upper Tribunal has confirmed that it is for asylum seekers to disprove the possibility of safe and reasonable internal relocation if the Home Office identifies a potential safe haven. In MB (Internal relocation – burden of proof) Albania [2019] ...

23rd December 2019 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

Upper Tribunal slams Home Office for inability to read dictionary

The Upper Tribunal has rejected an attempt by the Home Office to ignore the clear meaning of an Immigration Rule. Sahebi (Para 352(iii): meaning of “existed”) Pakistan [2019] UKUT 394 (IAC) is about paragraph 352A(iii), which covers reunio ...

18th December 2019 By

Delay policy leaving trafficking victims in limbo found unlawful

The High Court has declared that the Home Office policy of waiting until an asylum decision is made before considering whether to grant trafficking victims Discretionary Leave to Remain is unlawful. Under that policy, a recognised victim of human traf ...

11th December 2019 By

Immigration judges told how to handle Somalian refugee cessation cases

The Upper Tribunal has provided guidance on how First-tier Tribunal judges should approach attempts by the Home Office to revoke refugee status from Somalian nationals. SB (refugee revocation; IDP camps) Somalia [2019] UKUT 358 (IAC) confirms that it ...

21st November 2019 By

54-day stopover counts as “in transit” for Refugee Convention

In Idahosa v R [2019] EWCA Crim 1953 the Court of Appeal has ruled that an asylum seeker who had stopped over in the United Kingdom for 54 days en route to Canada can rely on the exception to false documents offences available to refugees. The court t ...

20th 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

Complete withdrawal of asylum support breaches EU law

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that it is unlawful to completely withdraw all housing and financial support from an asylum seeker, even if they have breached the rules of an accommodation centre. In Case C-233/18 Haqbin v Federaa ...

14th November 2019 By

Mixed messages on detention of vulnerable detainees

In R (Gasztony) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 2879 (Admin), the High Court has ruled that substantial periods of a mentally ill man’s detention were unlawful because the Home Office took too long to arrange suitable al ...

5th November 2019 By

Escaped Tamil prisoners are at risk in Sri Lanka, Court of Appeal confirms

The Court of Appeal has overruled both immigration tribunals and found that members of the Tamil Tigers who were detained but escaped are at risk of persecution in Sri Lanka. The judgment in RS (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department ...

1st November 2019 By

Detainees with indefinite leave to remain not entitled to Home Office accommodation

An immigration detainee who has indefinite leave to remain must apply to their local council for housing benefit rather than for a bail address or asylum support provided by the Home Office. R (AT (Guinea))) v Secretary of State for the Home Departmen ...

31st October 2019 By

High Court upholds failing system of suicide reports in detention centres

The High Court has decided that rule 35(2) of the Detention Centre Rules is not unlawful, despite acknowledging the overwhelming evidence that it has failed to protect the welfare of detainees who are at risk of suicide. In R (IS (Bangladesh)) v Secre ...

18th October 2019 By

Relatives of refugees are not legally refugees after all

The Court of Appeal has held that the UN Refugee Convention should not be interpreted to include an implied type of derivative refugee status for the family members of refugees. As a result, anyone who was granted refugee status under UK law as the fa ...

16th October 2019 By

Home Office comes out fighting in new guidance on false representations

The Home Office has issued new policy guidance on when it will refuse applications on the grounds of deception or dishonesty, i.e. where an applicant has made a false representation. The guidance follows a serious defeat in the Court of Appeal earlie ...

14th October 2019 By

Family courts have no power to prevent removal of children at risk of FGM abroad

The President of the Family Division has decided that the family courts have no jurisdiction to interfere with immigration control, even if they think it is necessary to protect a girl from female genital mutilation (FGM). The most they can do is to a ...

1st October 2019 By

Trafficking victim successfully overturns ten-year-old conviction

O v R [2019] EWCA Crim 1389 is the latest of a series of appeals brought by victims of trafficking against historic convictions. In this case the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) decided to quash a 2008 conviction because the prosecution had not ev ...

14th August 2019 By

DNA evidence proves Home Office wrong about Calais child

A new Court of Appeal judgment has confirmed that the Home Office wrongly denied that a child asylum seeker seeking transfer to the UK had a brother already living in this country. The Home Office, as is its wont, claimed that the two young men were n ...

6th August 2019 By

Refugee status can be taken away even if threat of persecution still looms

In Secretary of State for the Home Department v MS (Somalia) [2019] EWCA Civ 1345, the Court of Appeal has held that the Home Office can cease refugee status where there has been a change of circumstances in the refugee’s country of origin such ...

30th July 2019 By

High Court allows Home Office to ignore tribunal bail decision

The High Court has ruled that the Home Office can ignore a grant of immigration bail by the First-tier Tribunal if there is a material change of circumstances before the person is released. R (AB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EW ...

23rd July 2019 By

Tough approach on admitting new evidence before the Upper Tribunal

The Court of Appeal has taken a restrictive approach to the admission of new evidence before the Upper Tribunal that was not available before the First-tier Tribunal. The case is Kabir v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1162. ...

16th July 2019 By

Home Office ordered to bring Ugandan asylum seeker back to the UK five years after removal

The High Court has ordered the Home Office to return an asylum seeker to the UK from Uganda because her 2013 asylum appeal hearing was unfair. PN v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 1616 (Admin) is the latest in a series of cases ...

2nd July 2019 By

Upper Tribunal has power to set aside grant of judicial review permission

Unfortunately it sometimes happens that a claim entirely lacking in substantive merit gets into a procedural tangle which gives it an undeserved lease of life. The present case is an extreme example. – Lord Justice Leggatt The Court of Appeal ha ...

21st June 2019 By

Home Office wrong to apply its own Iraq asylum policy instead of country guidance case

SS v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 1402 (Admin) is about when the Home Office can legitimately apply its own policy instead of a country guidance decision from the Upper Tribunal. The High Court has ruled that it was irrationa ...

13th June 2019 By

Helpful case on when failure to claim asylum in a safe country damages credibility

Immigration judges must assess whether an asylum seeker had a reasonable opportunity to claim asylum in a safe third country before holding that a failure to do so should damage their credibility, the Court of Appeal has ruled. KA (Afghanistan) v Secr ...

12th June 2019 By

Subsidiary protection status must be revoked if granted in error

The Court of Justice of the European Union has confirmed that subsidiary protection status must be revoked by member states if they discover that it has been granted in error, even if the applicant did nothing to mislead the authorities. Case C‑720/ ...

4th June 2019 By

No exemption from NHS charges for human rights applicants

R (ERA) v Basildon And Thurrock Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 1249 (Admin) is about whether someone who has applied for leave to remain in the UK on human rights grounds can get the same exemption from NHS charges as asylum seekers. The N ...

23rd May 2019 By

Is it lawful to put immigration detainees in solitary confinement?

This article is about the High Court and Court of Appeal decisions in the leading (and so far only) case on segregation in immigration detention. They are R (Muasa) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 2267 (Admin) and R (TM (Kenya ...

8th May 2019 By

European Court of Human Rights awards substantive damages for breach of detention policy

The European Court of Human Rights has developed Article 5 ECHR beyond domestic law and potentially created a dramatic increase in the amount of damages payable for unlawful detention caused by a breach of detention policy. VM v United Kingdom (No. 2) ...

1st May 2019 By

EU citizens retain worker status for six months after two weeks’ work

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that EU nationals retain their status as workers for six months, even if they have only worked for two weeks in the host country. Case C‑483/17 Tarola v Minister for Social Protection concerned a ...

24th April 2019 By
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