Court of Appeal: private religious belief does not risk persecution

The difficulty of presenting asylum claims based on religion is well known. Such claims raise difficult evidential problems, which are addressed in this detailed post by Colin Yeo. But AS (Iran) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 1539 seems to pose a novel difficulty: should a claim by a person who would exercise their religion in utter privacy be accepted? Factual background and First-tier Tribunal decision The appellant is an Iranian national. She had made a previous asylum claim in the UK on the basis of her political activities, but was refused and removed to Iran in 2009. In 2012, she returned and shortly afterwards made a...

23rd October 2017 By Thomas Beamont

Anti-trafficking victories in Supreme Court: Reyes and Benkharbouche

Today, Anti-Slavery Day, the Supreme Court has handed down judgments in cases that look at the extent to which diplomatic and state immunity allow diplomats to traffic and enslave their domestic workers with impunity. Traffickers will sleep a little less easily in their beds tonight. In Reyes v Al-Malki [2017] UKSC 61, Philippine national Cherrylyn Reyes brought a claim before the Employment Tribunal against the Saudi Arabian diplomat and his wife who had employed her at their home in London. She claimed she had been trafficked, that she had suffered racial discrimination and harassment, and that she had not been paid the national living wage. The couple claimed immunity from civil suit.  The Supreme...

18th October 2017 By Alison Harvey

Human rights, long residence and the integration test in the Court of Appeal

AS v SSHD [2017] EWCA 1284 Practitioners commonly rely on the “integration test” in the Immigration Rules to resist an individual’s removal on human rights grounds. The current rules can in some circumstances require a consideration of whether there would be “very significant obstacles” to an individual’s re-integration in that country if they were to be removed or deported. But what characteristics or circumstances can be considered when assessing these obstacles? The Court of Appeal in AS has provided some useful guidance. For a full exploration of the long residence rules and the 10 and 20 year rules in particular see our earlier post: The case of Stoly Jankovic: what are...

14th September 2017 By Thomas Beamont

UPDATED: Home Office makes changes to Appendix FM Minimum Income Rule following MM case

On 20 July 2017 the Home Office published changes to the Immigration Rules intended to give effect to findings made by the Supreme Court in MM (Lebanon) & Others v the Secretary for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 10 on the Minimum Income Requirement. The new rules come into effect on 10 August 2017, coinciding with the publication of new Home Office guidance explaining how the changes should be applied. Headline changes The main changes to the Minimum Income Requirement policy are as follows: Other sources of income will be considered to meet the Minimum Income Rule in certain circumstances Where other sources of income are relied upon the applicant,...

10th August 2017 By Chris Desira

The case of Stoly Jankovic: what are the 10 and 20 year rules on long residence?

The case of Stoly Jankovic recently attracted a lot of press attention and a great deal of sympathy. He had apparently been living and working in the UK since 1991, for a period of 26 years. How can it be right that he be detained for removal after all that time? Well, the rules on acquiring lawful status after long residence are very tightly drawn and it sounds as if he has fallen foul of them. I have been meaning to write a post on the long residence rules for as long as I can remember, and this seems like a good opportunity. How did Mr Jankovic find himself in this predicament?...

24th May 2017 By Colin Yeo

Strasbourg rules on state obligations towards trafficked persons

Chowdury and Others v Greece (Application number 21884/15 – the judgment is only available in French. An English-language press summary is available.) The European Court of Human Rights has found that strawberry-pickers in Greece were subjected to forced labour. The Court found that the authorities failed to prevent forced labour and protect the migrant workers. The case raises novel points about the scope of the right not to be subjected to forced labour, and the state’s obligations to investigate potential instances of forced labour and trafficking. The facts The applicants in this case are 42 Bangladeshi men who worked on a strawberry farm in Nea Manolada, Greece from 2012-2013. They...

2nd May 2017 By Thomas Beamont