All Articles: Criminal offences

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

Court of Appeal overturns decision to prosecute victim of trafficking

The Court of Appeal has given judgment in two linked cases involving victims of trafficking prosecuted in the UK for offences linked to their trafficking: N v R [2019] EWCA Crim 752. In one of the cases, involving a young Vietnamese man prosecuted fo ...

14th May 2019 By

Supreme Court refuses damages to refugee wrongly prosecuted for illegal entry

Shortly after Christmas in 2009, a young woman from Somalia flew into Stanstead and claimed asylum. She had just turned 18. As later accepted by the Home Office, she had experienced severe depredations in her home country. This included her rape at th ...

26th April 2017 By

Home Office imposes illegal working fines of £14 million on small businesses in 3 month period

The Home Office has imposed fines on small businesses for employing illegal workers of over £14 million in just a three month period. The period covered is January to March 2016. The list of businesses targeted by officials appears to include mainly ...

6th September 2016 By

Solicitors who failed to advise refugee of defence to illegal prosecution referred to SRA

In yet another example of a refugee who was not properly advised on his defence to a prosecution for illegal entry, Shabani, Re [2015] EWCA Crim 1924 (22 July 2015), the Lord Chief Justice has overturned the conviction but this time has also referred ...

14th December 2015 By

Canadian Supreme Court declares unconstitutional criminal offence of assisting refugees

In a very interesting judgment the Canadian Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional the criminal offence of organising, inducing, aiding or abetting undocumented entry. The case is R. v. Appulonappa – SCC Cases (Lexus). This post reviews th ...

11th December 2015 By

Channel Tunnel Man: Refugees should not be prosecuted for irregular entry

In the absence of legal means by which to enter countries of sanctuary, refugees resort to the use of irregular means of entry. Some will falsely apply for and obtain a visit or student visa and then apply for asylum once within the UK. Others will u ...

11th August 2015 By

Does the Human Rights Act prevent us deporting serious criminals?

It is very widely believed that the Human Rights Act stops the UK from deporting foreign criminals whence they came. To a limited extent, there is some truth in this. Some appeals against deportation decisions do succeed on human rights grounds. Not m ...

26th May 2015 By

Conditional discharge is not a conviction. Duh.

Omenma (Conditional discharge – not a conviction of an offence) [2014] UKUT 314 (IAC) is an interesting case for two reasons. Firstly, the Home Office accepted that the decision was wrong and withdrew it. Nevertheless, because the case had reac ...

18th July 2014 By

Immigration raids found to be unlawful in two thirds of cases

In another highly critical report on immigration enforcement by the Home Office, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine has found that in nearly two thirds of cases (59%) immigration enforcement officers entering business premises l ...

26th March 2014 By

Mark Harper’s resignation: has he broken the law?

Immigration Minister Mark Harper has resigned from the Government because in 2007 he employed a cleaner who did not have permission to work. Harper claims that he has not broken the law but is resigning because “I should hold myself to a higher ...

8th February 2014 By

Criminals deported to DRC are at risk says High Court

In R (on the application of P (DRC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 3879 (Admin), handed down on 9 December 2013, Mr Justice Philips held that P would be at risk of treatment in breach of Article 3 of the ECHR if deported to t ...

10th December 2013 By

Stranded spouses: a convenient form of child abduction

Child abduction is a criminal offence. It requires covert departure from the UK to another country, and from the abductor’s point of view preferably one that is not in Europe, not a signatory to the Hague Convention and that does not have a bila ...

24th October 2013 By

Wrongful convictions of refugees overturned

Refugees fleeing persecution in their home country cannot afford to be scrupulous about the means by which they reach sanctuary in another country. This truism was recognised by the drafters of the Refugee Convention: Article 31 affords refugees prote ...

5th August 2013 By

Convictions of trafficking victims quashed, new guidance given

Finally, there has been a breakthrough in cases where victims of trafficking find themselves prosecuted and convicted here in the UK for engaging in the very activity into which the victim was forced. It may seem strange that it is the victims of traf ...

24th June 2013 By

Miscarriage of Justice: Wrongly Convicted Asylum Seekers and Trafficked Persons

Recently the Law Society Gazette ran an article by Yewa Holiday, a barrister and a case review manager at the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which highlighted the plight of asylum seekers and refugees wrongly convicted after being advised t ...

9th August 2012 By