- In depth look at the new Home Office settlement policy for refugees after five years
- Athens Refugee Legal Support Project: what is happening on the ground and how to donate
- Should refugees claim asylum upon arrival in their first ‘safe’ country?
- What is the legal meaning of “refugee”?
- UK unlawfully denies transfer to UK of refugees living for 18 years in Cyprus British Sovereign Base
Athens Refugee Legal Support Project: what is happening on the ground and how to donate
Image (c) Sarah Booker The pilot of the Athens Refugee Legal Support Project has now run for 2 months now. We work out of a community centre in Athens with the support of ILPA and Garden Court Chambers. Weekly reports from UK legal volunteers (solicitors, barristers, case workers) tell a similar story. The Greek asylum service is overburdened. Greek lawyers on the frontline are overstretched and the majority of refugees do not receive any advice or representation prior to receiving the initial decision on their asylum claim. If refused they can expect an excruciatingly long appeal process. To make matters worse, many reside in squats, unable to access accommodation from...21st June 2017
Should refugees claim asylum upon arrival in their first ‘safe’ country?
“Why don’t asylum seekers stop before they get here?” I have been asked this question many times. There are lots of safe countries on the way, so the argument goes. Why wait until they arrive in the UK to make their claim? They’re not going to get killed in France, after all. The insinuation is that the application for refugee status is cover for the real motive, probably economic, and the UK best serves those ends. With Refugee Week upon us, I wanted to explore this question. A numbers game Firstly, a few facts. During 2016, to the south, 123,370 people claimed asylum in Italy, and 85,244 in France. To...20th June 2017
What is the legal meaning of “refugee”?
This week is Refugee Week. The Free Movement blog is about communicating complex legal issues in immigration and asylum law in a clear way so I have amended and republishing this blog post explaining what a refugee actually is in legal terms. I have also collected together some of our previous blog posts about asylum issues. I hope you find it useful and interesting! I am also making my refugee law ebook freely available for this week. The ebook is a detailed examination of refugee law as it is understood and practiced in the UK. Use code “refugeeweek” as you are making a purchase and a 100% discount will be...19th June 2017
UK unlawfully denies transfer to UK of refugees living for 18 years in Cyprus British Sovereign Base
R (Bashir) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 397 The British Sovereign Base Areas (“SBAs”) are small British-run areas on the Cyprus islands that survived the former colony’s independence. The Home Office has taken the position for a number of years that the Refugee Convention does not apply there. The Court of Appeal has unanimously held that in doing so, then-Home Secretary Theresa May acted unlawfully in denying refugees from the SBAs access to the UK. Background facts The claimants had been rescued from a fishing boat in the Mediterranean in 1998. They had been taken to one of the British Sovereign Base Areas in...6th June 2017
Country guidance issued between hearing and promulgation will still bind tribunal
Is the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) bound to take into account a Country Guidance (CG) case that is issued by the Upper Tribunal after the date of the FTT hearing, and after the date the FTT judge signs the determination, but before that determination is promulgated? The short answer, in general, and for the very unfortunate appellant in NA (Libya) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 143, is yes. Timeline The Libyan appellant in this case had been refused asylum and appealed against the decision to the tribunal. The appeal was heard by the FTT and allowed. The decision was made on the basis of information...26th May 2017
Coruscating criticism by President of Home Office behaviour in refugee family reunion case
To summarise, figuratively the Secretary of State does not have a leg upon which to stand either factually or legally. These were the words used by Mr Justice McCloskey, president of the Upper Tribunal, in the judicial review case of Mohamed Al-Anizy. Needless saying, he was not very impressed by the Secretary of State´s behaviour, in this case in relation to her application (or, rather, non-application) of its guidance on family reunion for refugees. Background of the case The Applicant, Mr Al-Anizy, is a husband and father of four children, aged between 3 and 10 years old. The family are Kuwaiti Bidoons. The Kuwaiti authorities issued a warrant of arrest...19th May 2017