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Iraq Country Guidance Overturned


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The controversial Country Guideline case of HM and Others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG [2010] UKUT 331 (IAC) has been quashed by the Court of Appeal. See the order here. The case of HM should no longer be followed as paragraph 2 of the order provides that:

determination of the IAC [Immigration and Asylum Chamber] in this appeal dated 21st September 2010 is quashed with the consequence that it ceases on all issues to be authoritative country guidance

The case of HM was an excellent example of the difficulties facing the tribunal in determining country guidance cases. See my original post on it here. The representatives for the appellants withdrew representation at the last minute, reputedly because a late expert report suggested that the merits of the case fell below the threshold needed to continue on a publicly funded basis. Nevertheless, without any appellant representatives to assist, the President of the tribunal decided to press ahead anyway.

It seems as if this was a mistake. The reasons for the order are unclear on its face, but if more information emerges then I will of course share it.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


5 Responses

  1. Interesting that they have remitted it to the UT to be re-determined as country guidance when there is already a new CG case, MK (Iraq), in the pipeline!

  2. Tori Sicher at Sutovic and Hartigan (previously of the IAS) fought this case when many others had given up on Iraqi asylum seekers. Her work on this case – sparked very much by the reports of the horrendous ill treatment meted out to those Iraqis returned by charter and dumped in Baghdad – was fantastic.

    I sat in at the hearing. The Court of Appeal simply quashed the decision(upholding the Appellant’s Ground 1)because the Appellants in HM were unrepresented before Tribunal, finding it was unlawful for the Tribunal to go ahead and issue Country Guidance on this basis. As the Court of Appeal put it, the decision was quashed for lack of a ‘contradictor’. The Court of Appeal did not need to go on to consider the other substantial grounds before it.

    So we await the Tribunal’s guidance on Iraq, Article 15(c) and risk on return.

    1. Well worth a nomination for immigration legal aid lawyer of the year, if not the full award, in my opinion!

  3. PD, it’s correct that another CG on Iraq has been heard. However, that case does not consider the issues of 15c. HM will be taking the lead on that point. Hence it’s importance.

    Tori is without doubt a genius. Legal Aid Lawyer of the century though!? No, sorry…More like decade…look at her case history whilst at IAS and S&H.