Immigration tribunal findings on FGM are not holy writ in the family courts

In A (A Child) (Rev 1) [2020] EWCA Civ 731 the Court of Appeal has confirmed that decisions of the First-tier Tribunal are not the “starting point” when a family court is considering whether to make a protection order under the Female Gen ...

17th 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

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

Detainees lose appeal challenge to £1 an hour wage despite extension of time

The Court of Appeal has rejected a challenge to the £1 an hour rate of pay for detainees who undertake work in immigration removal centres. In R (Badmus) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 657 the court maintained the decisi ...

28th May 2020 By

Removal to Afghanistan “most unlikely” in the next six months, says High Court

A High Court judge has granted immigration bail to an Afghan detainee and made findings which will be helpful to those representing other detainees seeking release during the COVID-19 crisis. The short judgment in (R) Khan v SSHD CO/1366/2020 provides ...

26th May 2020 By

Home Office to issue woman with British passport after 18 year battle

Even by Home Office standards, the decision to defend the case of R (Nmai) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 1139 (Admin) looks particularly pointless. The claimant had an incredibly strong case and the judge allowed the claim w ...

20th May 2020 By

Chief Inspector blasts Home Office operation of Adults at Risk policy

David Bolt, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, has published his first report into the operation of the Adults at Risk policy. It makes fascinating reading for anyone involved in helping vulnerable adults secure release from d ...

30th April 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

High Court to rule on release of immigration detainees at high risk from COVID-19

In R (Samson Bello) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 950 (Admin), the High Court has refused to release a man at high risk of COVID-19 complications from immigration detention.  Instead, Mr Justice Chamberlain ordered a rolled ...

23rd April 2020 By

Judge rebuked for adjourning case during cross-examination

The Upper Tribunal has reprimanded an immigration judge for granting an adjournment during the cross-examination of an appellant. In WA (Role and duties of judge) Egypt [2020] UKUT 127 (IAC), the President and Vice President of the Upper Tribunal prov ...

22nd 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

Costs against the tribunal after it tries to ban solicitors from Birmingham

D, P and K v Lord Chancellor [2020] EWHC 736 (Admin) is a rare example of the High Court making a costs order against a lower tribunal. The context is a dispute between a well-known immigration law firm, Duncan Lewis, and the President of the First-ti ...

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

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 claimant ...

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
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