All Articles: Refugees

Refugee “safe return reviews” needlessly causing anxiety, statistics suggest

About 18 months ago, the Home Office announced that refugees would no longer get indefinite leave to remain automatically after being in the UK for five years. Officials are now supposed to review whether the refugee still needs the protection of the ...

23rd October 2018 By

What is the legal definition of a “refugee”?

This week is Refugee Week. On Free Movement we try to communicate complex legal issues in immigration and asylum law in a clear way and here we answer the question “what is a refugee?” We’ll have a load of other refugee related conte ...

18th June 2018 By

Tribunal criticises government lawyers for “trench warfare” mentality and “inappropriate” conduct

In one of his final judgments as outgoing President, Mr Justice McCloskey launched a bitter broadside at the conduct of government lawyers in long-running litigation over the entry of refugee children. While the criticism of the solicitors at the Gove ...

9th October 2017 By

Safe return reviews and Home Office policy on settlement for refugees

In March 2017 the Home Office announced a new policy of reviewing whether all refugees require protection at the end of a 5 year initial period of Refugee Status. This policy is effective for all existing and future applications for Indefinite Leave t ...

22nd June 2017 By

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 [2017] 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 ...

6th June 2017 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 ends policy of automatic settlement for refugees after five years

The Home Office has announced a new policy of reviewing whether all refugees require protection at the end of a five year initial period of leave. The policy appears to be effective immediately for all refugee settlement applications, including for re ...

9th March 2017 By

The Lounani case: when can a member of a terrorist group be excluded from refugee status?

C-573/14 Lounani (Grand Chamber, 31st January 2017) A person applying for protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention can be excluded from its provisions under certain circumstances. As the Court of Justice of the European Union explained in B and D ...

9th March 2017 By

Refugee family reunion: a user’s guide

This post is intended for refugees (including those with humanitarian protection), their families and their friends trying to understand the rules on refugee family reunion. The requirements to be met are straightforward and simple for children and s ...

11th January 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

Analysis: What does Theresa May’s speech mean for immigrants and refugees?

Yesterday Home Secretary Theresa May gave a speech on immigration and asylum issues at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. It was a nakedly political speech that was clearly intended to appeal to the right wing of the Conservative Party. ...

7th October 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

Tightening of British citizenship rules not aimed at refugees

James Brokenshire, until the dissolution of Parliament last week the Minister of Immigration [EDIT: I am reliably informed that he is still the Minister – thanks go to Alison Harvey!], has confirmed that the recent tightening of policy on granti ...

30th March 2015 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

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