All Articles: Human rights

In another blow for the Home Office on visa application fees, the department has been forced to concede that its policy on fee waivers for entry clearance applications is unlawful.  Fee waiver policies At time of writing, the relevant guidance states that applicants outside the UK can only be granted...

8th March 2021
BY Mary Atkinson

The High Court in SM v Lord Chancellor [2021] EWHC 418 (Admin) has held that free legal advice must be made available to immigration detainees held in prisons, bringing access to lawyers into line with the legal advice scheme operating in immigration removal centres (“IRCs”). In a significant loss for...

26th February 2021
BY Larry Lock

The Home Office breached the human rights of a refused asylum seeker by evicting him while his eighth attempt to reopen his asylum claim was still pending, the High Court of Northern Ireland has found. The case is Re Omar Mahmud [2021] NIQB 6. Background Mr Mahmud, 42, is a...

25th February 2021
BY CJ McKinney

The European Court of Human Rights has looked for the first time at when the prosecution of a human trafficking victim might violate Article 4 of the Convention. In VCL and AN v United Kingdom (application nos. 77587/12 and 74603/12), it sharply criticises the Crown Prosecution Service for prosecuting victims...

16th February 2021
BY Alex Schymyck

In Bikanu (s.11 TCEA; s.117C NIAA; para. 399D) [2021] UKUT 34 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has confirmed that paragraph 399D of the Immigration Rules has no relevance to the human rights exceptions to deportation set out in section 117C(4)-(6) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. President Lane and...

16th February 2021
BY Eleri Griffiths

Lowe v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 62 is about the role of the Upper Tribunal in deportation appeals. The role of an appellate court when reviewing the findings of fact made by the court below sounds straightforward: it will only intervene if the findings...

27th January 2021
BY Alex Schymyck

Stealing someone’s identity is not a “false representation” for the purposes of a 20-year long residence application, the Upper Tribunal has found. The case is Mahmood (paras. S-LTR.1.6. & S-LTR.4.2.; Scope) Bangladesh [2020] UKUT 376 (IAC). Bangladeshi national Sultan Mahmood, 41, has been living in the UK since at least...

26th January 2021
BY CJ McKinney

The distinction between a “claim” and an “application” was at the heart of the Upper Tribunal’s recent decision in Yerokun (Refusal of claim; Mujahid) Nigeria [2020] UKUT 377 (IAC). Mr Yerokun made an application for permission to remain in the UK based on his human right to private and family...

22nd January 2021
BY Iain Halliday

The European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that the final offence committed by someone before deportation action is taken against them does not need to be particularly significant if they have a history of serious offending. In Munir Johanna v Denmark (application no. 56803/18) and Khan v Denmark (application no. 26957/19)...

21st January 2021
BY Alex Schymyck

Lawyers are prone to creating “terms of art”, i.e. a phrase which has a specific meaning within a particular branch of law, distinct from its usage in ordinary English. In Patel (historic injustice; NIAA Part 5A) India [2020] UKUT 351 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal defines the phrases “historic injustice” and...

12th January 2021
BY Alex Schymyck

Lawyers interested in deportation will be aware of the decision in AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 17, handed down in April 2020. In that case, the Supreme Court set out the correct test that should be applied to cases where the courts are...

29th December 2020
BY Asif Hanif

Earlier this year the Court of Appeal looked at the meaning of an offence causing “serious harm” for the purposes of deportation law. Being convicted of such an offence is one of the ways a person can find themselves facing automatic deportation from the UK. The Upper Tribunal has now...

15th December 2020
BY Iain Halliday

Everyone who works with asylum seekers knows that the Home Office system for providing accommodation is not fit for purpose. In R (DMA and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3416 (Admin) the High Court has finally and emphatically recognised this. The judgment will surely...

15th December 2020
BY Alex Schymyck

It’s rare to get a slobber-knocker of a case from the European Court of Human Rights like Unuane v The United Kingdom (application no. 80343/17). The court unanimously found that the UK’s supposedly Article 8 compliant deportation rules don’t preclude judges from following the correct approach to assessing the proportionality...

25th November 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

In B & C v Switzerland (application no. 43987/16 and 889/19) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously held that the deportation of asylum seekers to countries where they risk persecution for their sexual orientation would violate the Article 3 prohibition on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment under...

19th November 2020
BY Larry Lock

Last year, Nick wrote up the case of MA (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1252, summarising it as follows: If a foreign criminal wins their deportation appeal, can the Home Office try and deport them again, even where there has been no further offending?...

4th November 2020
BY CJ McKinney

The European Court of Human Rights has held unanimously that the removal of a Sudanese man by the Belgian authorities – in breach of a court order – violated his rights under Article 3 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case involved remarkable procedural defects, including problems...

3rd November 2020
BY Daniel Grütters

On 26 August 2020 at 7:45, a flight chartered by the Home Office took off from Stansted airport, heading for France via Dusseldorf. The passengers were asylum seekers from countries such as Iran, Sudan and Yemen. A similar flight took off two weeks before; another is reportedly scheduled for 3...

1st September 2020
BY Rachael Lenney

Racism is the belief that one racial group is above another racial group. It is supported by structural power. Structural power shows up in different ways and ensures unequal distribution of resources through laws, policies and behaviours amongst racial groups, over a range of issues including education, employment opportunities, finances,...

26th August 2020
BY Raggi Kotak

The High Court has refused a challenge to the conditions at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre in 2017 on all grounds. This is despite the Home Office having made a number of changes to the regime provided by G4S since then in response to criticism. The decision in R (Soltany)...

25th August 2020
BY Alex Schymyck

The case of Advocate General for Scotland v Adiukwu [2020] CSIH 47 answers the question of whether the Home Office has a private law duty to grant a person discretionary leave to remain and issue them with a letter to allow them to take up employment once a tribunal has...

21st August 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

In Pormes v The Netherlands (application no. 25402/14), the European Court of Human Rights has approved the deportation of a man who had lived in the Netherlands between the ages of four and 29, on the basis of multiple convictions for indecent assault.  Mr Pormes had a troubled upbringing. He...

11th August 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

Everyone in the UK has the right to respect for their family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But as a migrant from outside the European Economic Area, what do you actually need in order to be able to stay in the UK on the...

30th July 2020
BY Iain Halliday

In Begum v Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) [2020] EWCA Civ 918, the Court of Appeal has ordered that Shamima Begum be granted leave to enter the UK so that she can participate in her deprivation of citizenship appeal. The court also ordered the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) to...

16th July 2020
BY John Vassiliou

S.M. v Croatia (application no. 60561/14) is an odd case to read. It is very long, running to 356 paragraphs and several concurring judgments, and refers to a wide variety of international law sources. But its conclusion is straightforward: forced prostitution falls within the scope of Article 4 of the...

6th July 2020
BY Alex Schymyck

The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has shone a light on the ongoing difference in the treatment of black and white citizens in the United States. It is right and proper to think also about racism here in the United Kingdom. As an immigration lawyer, I see...

10th June 2020
BY Colin Yeo

Chucking people out of a country they were born in is hard. It usually takes something pretty dramatic or pretty terrible — or both, as in the case of Azerkane v The Netherlands (application no. 3138/16). The facts Mr Azerkane was born in the Netherlands to Moroccan parents. His parents...

9th June 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

The European Court of Human Rights has declined an invitation to extend the jurisdiction of the Convention to cover applications made for a visa to enter a given country and claim asylum. In M.N. and Others v. Belgium (application no. 3599/18), the Strasbourg court ruled that an application brought by...

4th June 2020
BY Alex Schymyck

“Devani” in my native language of Punjabi/Urdu roughly translates as “crazy” or “mad”. An apt name for the case of Devani [2020] EWCA Civ 612, because it’s never promising when a judgment starts by saying “this appeal has a complicated and unsatisfactory procedural history”. Asylum appeal accidentally dismissed The case...

14th May 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

In the case of AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 17 the Supreme Court has widened the protection available to seriously ill migrants facing deportation from the UK and subsequent death for want of medical treatment. The judgment opens by noting that the case involves...

1st May 2020
BY Colin Yeo

Last year, in the important case of Balajigari [2019] EWCA Civ 673, the Court of Appeal ruled that, before refusing a settlement application on the basis that the person applying has been dishonest, the Home Office must: Let the applicant know that they are minded to refuse, and allow them...

28th April 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

Anyone whose life consists of daily references to the Immigration Rules will tell you that the experience can feel a lot like deep ocean exploration in the Mariana Trench: despite constant research, you will still make new discoveries, even when you think there are no further depths to which you...

27th April 2020
BY Alex Piletska

The vexed issue of reasonableness, removals and children is back in the judicial spotlight once more in a new Court of Appeal ruling, Runa v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 514. The case involved an appeal against a refusal to grant Ms Runa, an overstayer,...

14th April 2020
BY Karma Hickman

In Asady and Others v Slovakia (application no. 24917/15) the European Court of Human Rights has delivered another judgment that will gratify governments seeking to use summary removal to get rid of asylum seekers. The decision continues the court’s retreat over the interpretation of Article 4 of the Fourth Protocol...

7th April 2020
BY Alex Schymyck

The case of MY (refusal of human rights claim) Pakistan [2020] UKUT 89 (IAC) represents yet another cutback in the rights of migrant victims of domestic abuse, and in appeal rights more generally. The Upper Tribunal has ruled that the Home Office can simply refuse to engage with a human...

30th March 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

In Birch (Precariousness and mistake; new matters : Jamaica) [2020] UKUT 86 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal looks at the “precarious leave” provisions where a person wrongly believed that they had indefinite leave to remain. It also identifies a loophole – a term not used without hesitation, but it is difficult...

26th March 2020
BY Nick Nason

Uddin v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 338 is an important case in which the outgoing Senior President of Tribunals provides the judges who serve in his Immigration and Asylum Chamber with very strong guidance on mixed credibility findings and the assessment of family life....

18th March 2020
BY Christopher Cole

The High Court has granted a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order in the case of a 10-year-old girl who the Home Office is trying to remove to Bahrain. The case is A (A child) (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order Application) [2020] EWHC 323 (Fam). A has lived in the UK...

13th March 2020
BY CJ McKinney

In asylum and criminal deportation and probably all areas of immigration, credibility is the key. Some of my own techniques for building credibility into a statement include:  I “read” or “watch” the client’s narrative like a novel or a film. I then ask whatever question springs to mind to make...

10th March 2020
BY Anita Vasisht

The Sikh community in Afghanistan used to be a sizeable religious minority within that country, but the effect of persecution over the past 30 years has meant that 99% have now emigrated. The United Nations and other international observers estimate that there may be only 1,000 Sikhs left in Afghanistan,...

5th March 2020
BY Alex Schymyck
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