Expert reports in human rights cases must be up to scratch

In HK, HH, SK and FK v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 1871 the Court of Appeal found that asylum seekers could be returned to Bulgaria under the Dublin III Regulation. Removal would not violate the appellants’ Article 3 rights, despite medical reports on their poor mental health and NGO evidence on the poor treatment of asylum seekers by the Bulgarian authorities. Two aspects of the case are valuable for lawyers representing asylum seekers. First, Lord Justice Sales made some promising obiter comments on the (widening) scope of Article 3. Second, the Court of Appeal reiterated the importance of NGOs complying with expert evidence requirements. Challenging removal …

1st December 2017 By Clare Duffy

Tribunal rejects softer Strasbourg approach to Article 3 medical cases

When is it a breach of Article 3 to remove someone with a severe, possibly terminal, medical condition to a country where they will not receive the care they need? When they’re days away from death? When it will halve their lifespan? What level of pain is required? What constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment? The answers to these questions cry out for some humanity, but the history of medical Article 3 cases has instead been cruel and dispiriting. In EA & Ors (Article 3 medical cases – Paposhvili not applicable) [2017] UKUT 445 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal keeps even the glimmer of hope offered us by the European Court of…

20th November 2017 By Chai Patel

Strasbourg revisits approach to serious illness, medical treatment and Article 3

On 13 December 2016, the Grand Chamber handed down its much-awaited decision in Paposhvili v Belgium (Applcn No. 41738/10). The decision: (1) clarifies, widens and provides guidance on the circumstances in which an alien suffering from a serious illness can resist removal under art 3 ECHR; and (2) gives rise to serious questions as to whether the present UK jurisprudence is in step with the standards set in Strasbourg. The circumstances of the case The Applicant, Mr. Georgie Paposhvili, was a Georgian national, born in 1958, who had been living in Belgium with his wife and children, from November 1998. He claimed (and was refused) asylum in Belgium. From December…

27th December 2016 By Duran Seddon

Kidney transplant patient loses human rights immigration case

Hareef, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 873 (Admin) is a case that was heard in the wake of GS (India), & Ors v SSHD [2015] EWCA Civ 40, which concluded that in asylum claims, Article 3 can have no real application in respect of an asylum seeker suffering from a serious medical condition who will not be able to acquire the necessary medical treatment back home if deported. Like the claimants in GS, Mr Hareef suffered from chronic renal failure. On arriving from Afghanistan in 2009, he collapsed and was taken to hospital and received dialysis. His application for asylum…

29th April 2016 By Chris McWatters

Article 3 medical treatment cases not to be reconsidered by Supreme Court

The case of N v SSHD will stand: the Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal (see p9) from the Court of Appeal in the linked medical treatment cases on Article 3 ECHR with the words: With regret, the Panel can foresee no reasonable prospect of this Court departing from N v SSHD. In the Court of Appeal the cases were GS (India), EO (Ghana), GM (India), PL (Jamaica), BA (Ghana) & KK (DRC) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 40. The four whose appeals were dismissed by the Court of Appeal and who suffer from end stage kidney disease now face an early and unpleasant death within weeks following…

13th August 2015 By Colin Yeo

No broadening of Article 3 test in health cases

Unfortunately the Court of Appeal’s judgment in the Article 3 health test cases in GS (India) & Ors v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 40 (30 January 2015) does not change very much for migrants with serious health conditions seeking to remain in the UK.

4th February 2015 By Abigail Smith

Human rights, expulsion and medical treatment cases: a review

Human rights medical treatment expulsion cases are perhaps some of the most stark, most difficult and most challenging cases faced by a human rights lawyer. They concern life itself and will often involve a miserable, painful death if unsuccessful. The claimant and his or her family will be understandably desperate to succeed. Politicians, civil servants and even judges characterise these cases as ‘health tourism’ and reply that individual cases are very sad but the NHS cannot provide universal health care for the entire world. Human rights lawyers instructed by those reliant on medical treatment in the UK who resist removal face the difficult task of attempting to achieve a good outcome…

27th November 2013 By Colin Yeo

Medical treatment human rights cases and Rose Akhalu

The case of Rose Akhalu (health claim: ECHR Article 8) [2013] UKUT 400 (IAC) offers a glimmer of hope to some migrants dependent on health care in the UK facing removal. These cases can involve people being sent to their country of origin to die an avoidably early and unpleasant death. It is an extraordinarily difficult and emotive subject and has been covered here on this blog before (GS (India) and medical treatment cases).

11th September 2013 By Colin Yeo

GS (India) and medical treatment cases

Some time ago, I put up an angry post (it is never a good idea to publish in anger) about the case of  GS (Article 3 – health exceptionality) India [2011] UKUT 35 (IAC), in which it was held that a diabetic man on dialysis who would be painfully and unpleasantly dead within two weeks of removal nevertheless had to go back. It seemed a case that any human with a modicum of compassion or common sense would consider to be ‘a very exceptional case, where the humanitarian grounds against the removal are compelling’, the legal test established by Strasbourg in N v United Kingdom (26565/05) [2008] ECHR 453. The excellent team in…

17th May 2012 By Free Movement