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Sri Lanka Country Guidance seminar report

Sri Lanka Country Guidance seminar report

Sri Lanka mapLast Friday evening Renaissance Chambers’ immigration group hosted a seminar about the new Sri Lanka Country Guidance: GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC).

I had the pleasure of speaking together with Shivani Jegarajah, Nishan Paramjorthy, Jan Janayagam from Tamils Against Genocide and Dr Chris Smith to a packed Bingham Room at Gray’s Inn on how the new CG can best be applied despite it having been the subject of some controversy and alarm amongst those representing Sri Lankan national asylum seekers when it was promulgated a week ago. The notes I prepared for the seminar (slightly updated in light of some of the issues discussed and the speakers who were able to attend) are attached here.

Whilst on first or even second reading of the determination you would be forgiven for thinking the guidance given is too restrictive and fails to fairly represent the overwhelming majority of the authoritative background reports on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, on closer inspection it can be seen as very positive for a very wide group of claimants.

We did our best to give our ideas and I think I am justified in saying that the mood of the room lifted the longer we spoke.

As Colin Yeo indicated in the previous post on the CG, whilst there are some very obvious faults with the determination there are many positives too. For the moment, what else can we do apart from use the determination positively and creatively? If we do so (let’s remind ourselves that it’s a lawyer’s job anyway) then there is much that can be taken from this case.

Iain Palmer
Iain Palmer is a barrister at Lamb Building specialising in immigration and refugee law.

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