All Articles: Asylum

Claiming humanitarian protection in medical treatment cases

Seriously ill migrants claiming humanitarian protection status must show that a persecutor would intentionally deprive them of medical treatment, the Upper Tribunal has confirmed. The case is NM (Art 15(b): intention requirement) Iraq [2021] UKUT 259 ...

25th October 2021 By

How does the Home Office assess sexual identity in asylum claims?

People claiming asylum based on their sexual orientation, including homosexuality and bisexuality, may form part of a “particular social group” which qualifies for protection under the Refugee Convention.  In deciding whether to accept an ...

22nd October 2021 By

Give trafficked asylum seekers permission to stay, says High Court

The decision in R (KTT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2722 (Admin), widely reported in the mainstream press this week, is a massive result for trafficking victims. The High Court has concluded that a trafficking victim who i ...

15th October 2021 By

Book review: The Refugee in International Law by Goodwin-Gill and McAdam (4th edition)

The first edition of The Refugee in International Law, written by Guy Goodwin-Gill, was published in 1983 and is considered the birth of modern refugee law. For the third edition in 2007 Goodwin-Gill was joined by Jane McAdam as co-author. The fourth ...

14th October 2021 By

Court of Appeal clears up how Article 8 works in Dublin III family reunion cases

In R (BAA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1428 the Court of Appeal has clarified the reach of Article 8 in Dublin III family reunion judicial reviews. Unlawful refusal to accept Syrian asylum seeker The case was about an ...

13th October 2021 By

Briefing: sea rescue of refugees in UK law and proposals for change

In a previous briefing we saw that customary international law, four international conventions and international human rights law all impose a duty on states to rescue those in distress at sea and to set up and maintain search and rescue services. We ...

11th October 2021 By

Who can be sent back to Afghanistan?

Two months ago, the Home Office withdrew all but one of its country policy and information notes (CPINs) relating to Afghanistan. New decisions on Afghan asylum claims were halted, and in the immigration tribunals, Presenting Officers sought adjournme ...

11th October 2021 By

Asylum seekers denied “essential living needs” during pandemic, finds High Court

In the case of JM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2514, the High Court has held that the government failed to cater for asylum seekers’ essential living needs during the pandemic.  The court found that JM, who was housed in ...

7th October 2021 By

Asylum seeker right to work policy declared unlawful, again

There has been another successful challenge to the policy on asylum seekers undertaking paid work. In R (Cardona) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2656 (Admin), the High Court has declared that Home Office policy on this issue ...

6th October 2021 By

Patel pleads for time to stop Channel crossings

About half of the Home Secretary’s speech to the Conservative Party conference today was given over to immigration and asylum, but there were no new policy announcements. In fact it was, in structure, tone and content, much like last year’ ...

5th October 2021 By

Briefing: the duty of refugee sea rescue in international law

In the absence of safe and legal routes to sanctuary countries in which they can rebuild their lives, refugees often resort to travel by unsafe means. The issue of rescuing refugees at sea has risen in global prominence, with an estimated 40,000 refug ...

5th October 2021 By

Serious crime enough for humanitarian protection to be revoked

A serious crime is enough for humanitarian protection to be revoked, the Upper Tribunal has held. The case is Kakarash (revocation of HP; respondent’s policy) [2021] UKUT 235 (IAC). Appeal against loss of humanitarian protection initially allowed Mr ...

23rd September 2021 By

Fast Track asylum appeals were not necessarily unfair, Supreme Court confirms

The fact that the Detained Fast Track asylum appeal process was systemically unfair doesn’t mean it was automatically unfair in every case decided under it, according to the Supreme Court. The case is TN (Vietnam) [2021] UKSC 41. TN is a Vietnamese ...

22nd September 2021 By

Best practice in asylum and human rights appeals: a medical perspective

Mark Henderson, Rowena Moffatt and Alison Pickup have produced an update of the seminal Best Practice Guide to Asylum and Human Rights Appeals and (bless them) made it available online through the Electronic Immigration Network. As a dumb medic, I can ...

21st September 2021 By

Only French cooperation can stop the Channel boats

The supposed “turn-around” policy for migrant boats is similar to previous reports of wave machines or floating fences. It sounds tough but will never be implemented. Policies aimed at the interception or interdiction of asylum seekers at sea are ...

13th September 2021 By

Even as Afghans are resettled, refugee protection is under attack

In 1956, after Soviet tanks had rolled into Budapest, the United Kingdom resettled around 11,000 Hungarian refugees in a matter of months. In 1972, after Idi Amin gave them 90 days to leave, the United Kingdom resettled nearly 30,000 Ugandan Asian ref ...

6th September 2021 By

Asylum backlog passes 70,000

The backlog of asylum cases has passed 70,000 despite a fall in the annual number of applications. Almost 71,000 asylum seekers, including dependants, were awaiting an initial decision on their claim for refugee status as of 30 June 2021, according to ...

26th August 2021 By

New Home Office policy on medical evidence in asylum claims

The Home Office has published a new policy on Medical evidence in asylum claims. For years there had been policy on medico-legal reports from the Helen Bamber Foundation and Freedom from Torture. There was also a much scrappier policy on medical evide ...

19th August 2021 By

Offshore processing doesn’t stop the boats, Australian experts warn

Sending asylum seekers to have their claims processed “offshore” as a deterrent to boat arrivals doesn’t work, according to Australian experts examining their own country’s experience. A policy briefing by the Kaldor Centre at ...

17th August 2021 By

So much for the safety of Kabul

Like many refugee lawyers I have watched in horror as the Taliban, taking their cue from the US troop withdrawal, have swept through Afghanistan. At time of writing, it has been confirmed that the Taliban have taken most of the country, including the ...

16th August 2021 By

Court of Appeal lays down hyper-strict approach to EU asylum claims

ZV (Lithuania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1196 is an important case about the admissibility of asylum claims made by EU citizens. There is a long-standing rule that asylum claims by EU nationals will only be considere ...

11th August 2021 By

Briefing: are labour mobility schemes for skilled refugees a good idea?

On 20 July 2021, Free Movement published an article about the UK’s new Displaced Talent Mobility Programme, which concluded that it constituted “a new complementary pathway” for refugees to reach the country and “a positive step that will hope ...

5th August 2021 By

Supreme Court upholds Home Office age assessment policy

The Supreme Court has upheld the policy of treating asylum seekers who claim to be children as adults if two Home Office officials think that the person looks significantly over 18. The case is R (BF (Eritrea)) v Secretary of State for the Home Depar ...

2nd August 2021 By

Asylum camp staff were working illegally, inspectors say

It’s not the most damning part of yesterday’s inspection report on the asylum seeker camp at Napier barracks, but it’s certainly the most ironic. Some of the staff charged with running the camp were themselves migrants working in br ...

23rd July 2021 By

The displaced talent scheme: helping refugees apply for UK work permits

I am announcing that those displaced by conflict and violence will now also be able to benefit from access to our global points-based immigration system. To enable skilled displaced people who have had to flee their homes to come to the UK safely and ...

20th July 2021 By

Briefing: the Nationality and Borders Bill, Part 4 (modern slavery)

Part 4 of the Nationality and Borders Bill addresses modern slavery and human trafficking. The Home Office’s goals for reform in this area are, as ever, focused on criminality. The Home Secretary has promised that the Bill will “break the busi ...

19th July 2021 By

Analysis: the Borders Bill and the Refugee Convention

Under the sub-heading “Interpretation of Refugee Convention“, clauses 27-35 of the Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 seek to accomplish four main tasks: Translate some EU asylum law, currently residing in secondary legislation, into primar ...

16th July 2021 By

Briefing: the Nationality and Borders Bill, Part 2 (asylum)

MPs will give the Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 its second reading on 19 July. One of the Bill’s main objectives is to make the asylum system “fairer and more effective”. Most of the clauses supposedly directed to that purpose ar ...

16th July 2021 By

Book review: The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law, edited by Costello, Foster and McAdam

The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law, edited by Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster and Jane McAdam and published in June 2021, is a massive book in every sense. Some five years in the making, running to 1,258 pages, consisting of 65 chapter ...

15th July 2021 By

Double win for refugees seeking backdated benefits

The Court of Session in Scotland and the High Court in England and Wales have both ruled that newly recognised refugees have a right to claim backdated child tax credit. The cases are Adnan, Petitioners [2021] CSOH 63 and R (DK) v Her Majesty’s ...

7th July 2021 By

Priti Patel’s Borders Bill caters for fantasy refugees, not real ones

Imagine that you are – for the sake of argument – involved in a democracy movement in a post-Soviet dictatorship. Recently the police picked you up, beat the hell out of you and assaulted you in ways you’d rather not dwell on. Then they booted y ...

6th July 2021 By