All Articles: Asylum

Upper Tribunal dives into the Refugee Convention exclusion clauses

The signatories of the Refugee Convention thought that some people didn’t deserve protection on account of having committed particularly heinous crimes. They therefore introduced “exclusion clauses”, found at Article 1F of the Convention. Ac ...

13th May 2022 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 17 (Borders Act)

The Home Office has published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 17). It is largely focused on changes to the asylum system following the passage of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 and the agreement with Rwanda to export refu ...

12th May 2022 By

The Rwanda refugee deal is a distraction from the real issues in the asylum system

The government has invested huge political capital into its refugee deal with Rwanda. Equally immense resources of time and energy will also no doubt be ploughed into getting a few unfortunate refugees on a plane there at some point. This is a monumen ...

9th May 2022 By

Useful case from Court of Justice of the European Union on Palestinian refugees

In C-349/20 NB and AB v Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Court of Justice of the European Union has again addressed the question of when Palestinian refugees are entitled to refugee status under EU law. This is the fourth major judgment ...

6th May 2022 By

Upper Tribunal reiterates high threshold in Article 3 cases

In HA (expert evidence, mental health) Sri Lanka [2022] UKUT 111 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal considers whether the removal of a Sri Lankan man with mental health difficulties would violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 3 p ...

4th May 2022 By

Channel “pushbacks” policy abandoned

The Home Office has withdrawn its “pushback policy” which purported to set out a plan to return migrant boats in the English Channel to France. The climbdown follows recent skirmishes over expert evidence and disclosure — see [2022] EWHC 517 ...

27th April 2022 By

Colin’s refugee law textbook is published today

My textbook on refugee law, imaginatively entitled Refugee Law, is published today. It is aimed principally at undergraduate and graduate students on refugee law courses, or related courses where students need to learn about refugee law and the protec ...

26th April 2022 By

Is it legal to outsource the UK’s refugee responsibilities to Rwanda?

The government has announced a deal to export the UK’s responsibility to assess asylum claims and host refugees to Rwanda. Boris Johnson said in a speech that “anyone entering the UK illegally, as well as those who have arrived illegally s ...

19th April 2022 By

UK-Rwanda refugee deal: first thoughts

The UK-Rwanda memorandum of understanding on asylum processing is now available. It sets out the terms of the agreement between the countries at a high level but provides some insight into how this scheme is supposed to work. Before removal Importantl ...

14th April 2022 By

Imagine you are a Ukrainian refugee

Imagine you are a Ukrainian refugee. Imagine you have left your home, your job, and almost all of your possessions behind. Perhaps your husband or son or father — or perhaps all of them — have stayed behind to fight. You head for the neare ...

14th April 2022 By

Briefing: indefinite leave to remain for people with refugee status or humanitarian protection

A successful application for asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK results in the grant of five years’ permission to stay, on what is known as a “protection route”. People granted permission on a protection route then need to a ...

11th April 2022 By

Home Office agrees to reconsider landmark Ukraine asylum case

The Home Office has agreed to withdraw its decision to refuse asylum to a Ukrainian man who evaded the military draft, meaning that an appeal from the country guidance decision of PK and OS (basic rules of human conduct) Ukraine CG [2020] UKUT 314 wil ...

31st March 2022 By

Migrants who arrived by small boat may be able to claim damages for unlawful seizure of phones

The High Court has held that the Home Office’s search for and seizure of mobile phones from migrants who arrived by small boats from France, and the retention of extracted data, was unlawful. The case is R (HM, MA, KH) v Secretary of State for the H ...

29th March 2022 By

Can Ukrainians take refuge in the UK? The Ukraine Family Scheme and other routes

The Home Office has put in place or announced some immigration concessions and special visa schemes in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This includes the very important Ukraine Family Scheme. The department is also reviewing ...

24th March 2022 By

Confirmed victims of human trafficking who claim asylum to get improved residence rights

In R (EOG & KTT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWCA Civ 307, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that challenges arguing that Home Office policies breach the European Convention Against Trafficking (ECAT) are justiciable insofa ...

18th March 2022 By

Home Office wins trafficking support payments appeal

In R (MD and EH) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWCA Civ 336, the Court of Appeal has found that the Home Office’s non-payment of additional financial support to human trafficking victims who have children and receive asylum ...

17th March 2022 By

The Refugee Convention was designed for a crisis like the invasion of Ukraine

With all the talk of “bespoke” humanitarian schemes, Home Secretary Priti Patel’s refusal to use the word “refugee” and the rejection of the international system for the protection of refugees we see in the Nationality an ...

8th March 2022 By

The reality of Priti Patel’s “bespoke” humanitarian routes

On 28 February 2022 the Home Secretary told the House of Commons that a “bespoke humanitarian route” was being introduced for those fleeing the unlawful invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The word refugee was notable in its absence from that and from ...

7th March 2022 By

Briefing: the (sorry) state of the UK asylum system

The United Kingdom’s asylum system has been described by the current Home Secretary as “broken”. There is some truth in that statement. In many ways, the asylum system is now in a parlous state. What the Home Secretary does not say i ...

4th March 2022 By

High Court quashes “clearly unfair” local authority age assessment

In R (SB (a child)) v Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea [2022] EWHC 308 (Admin) the High Court held that an interview conducted by social workers as part of a short-form age assessment was “clearly unfair”. This was because of the ...

28th February 2022 By

Home Office challenge to Sri Lanka country guidance fails

The Home Office has been refused permission to appeal against the latest Sri Lankan country guidance decision. The case is KK and RS (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWCA Civ 119. Background Last year, in KK and RS (Sur ...

28th February 2022 By

Article 3 protects asylum seekers against removal even if they could leave voluntarily

Where an individual would be at risk if forcibly returned to a part of his country of nationality, is it a valid answer to a protection claim that he might nevertheless avoid any such risk by returning voluntarily to another part of that country, even ...

18th February 2022 By

What role does the European Convention Against Trafficking play in UK law?

In R (SV) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] UKUT 239 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has held that the European Convention Against Trafficking (ECAT) not being a part of UK domestic law is no reason to refuse to examine the lawfulness of a ...

16th February 2022 By

Refugees can make backdated child tax credit claims

I can do no better than adopt Tom Royston’s summary of R (DK) v Revenue and Customs [2022] EWCA Civ 120: in an important decision about the rights of refugees to financial support for children, the Court of Appeal in England and Wales has agreed ...

10th February 2022 By

Can the Iranian government see what dissidents post on Facebook?

The Upper Tribunal has put out a country guidance ruling on the Iranian government’s monitoring of dissidents on Facebook. Previous case law on the general human rights situation in Iran continues to hold good, but the new decision makes additio ...

3rd February 2022 By

Concessions for Afghan citizens on study and work routes in the UK

The Home Office has published new guidance for Afghan citizens who are already in the UK on study and work routes. The document outlines concessions to the Immigration Rules for Afghans who entered the UK before 1 September 2021 or applied for a visa ...

24th January 2022 By

“Westernised” Iraqi family granted asylum

What does it mean to be ‘westernised’? It is striking that a term that is used so frequently in this jurisdiction has never been more closely defined. I would suggest that this is because, like obscene material, it is because we ‘know it when we ...

19th January 2022 By

Inflexible biometrics policy for refugee family reunion declared unlawful

In R (SGW) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Biometrics , family reunion policy) [2022] UKUT 15 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal decided that Home Office guidance on refugee family reunion applications is unlawful because it fails to accurately d ...

17th January 2022 By

Ethiopia still not safe for Oromo Liberation Front supporters, country guidance confirms

In AAR (OLF – MB confirmed) Ethiopia CG [2022] UKUT 1 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has confirmed that the situation in Ethiopia has not changed substantially enough to allow a departure from previous country guidance. This is important because peop ...

17th January 2022 By

How asylum seekers can get jobs in social care

On the last working day before Christmas, the government announced that it is adding social care workers to the Health and Care visa and Shortage Occupation List. The change is due to come into force “in February 2022“. The Home Office des ...

12th January 2022 By

Slashing support payments to potential slavery victims defied clear policy

The High Court has again taken the Home Office to task for its stingy approach to supporting vulnerable asylum seekers during the pandemic. In R (JB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 3417, the court held that the department un ...

12th January 2022 By

Six especially ugly bits of the revised Borders Bill that really should be changed

The controversial Nationality and Borders Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords this week. One thing that peers on all sides of the house seemed to agree on – even if for different reasons – is that the immigration system is not workin ...

7th January 2022 By
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