Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Italy and Dublin – Tabrizagh again (sigh)


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The Court of Appeal yesterday gave judgment in Tabrizagh and others, the application for permission to appeal from the decision of Laing J. The written judgment is not available yet but will be soon [UPDATE: R (On the Application Of Tabrizagh & Ors) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1398].

It’s hard not to be depressed by the judgment, in which the recently elevated Sharp LJ and Underhill LJ refused permission to appeal. There is some comfort in the “clarification” of what Laing J meant in her exposition of the test for a breach of Article 3 ECHR. The Court effectively restored the Supreme Court’s view, without finding that Laing J even arguably erred, by means of an impressive feat of intellectual gymnastics. It is hard to believe that the findings of Laing J as regards the duties to be owed to beneficiaries of international protection will not be the subject of further challenge.

This is obviously bad news for those with clients facing removal to Italy under the Dublin regulations. The Court did at least acknowledge that the situation on the ground in Italy might well deteriorate and that this might change things. As many people will be aware, the crisis in Italy in 2011 was caused by the arrival of 62,000 people in one year following the Arab Spring. The number of entrants for 2014 last week passed 118,000.

Meanwhile, the wait for the decision of the Grand Chamber in Tarakhel v Switzerland goes on.

The Claimants were represented by Stephen Knafler QC, Greg Ó Ceallaigh and Declan O’Callaghan acting for Tom Giles of Turpin Miller and Raja Uruthiravinayagan of Duncan Lewis.

Just to restore the reputation of Dublin a little, and to lighten things up, here’s a video that features enormous hair, early 1980s Baile Átha Cliath, and the musical stylings of Thin Lizzy.


Interested in refugee law? You might like Colin's book, imaginatively called "Refugee Law" and published by Bristol University Press.

Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists alike.

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Picture of Greg Ó Ceallaigh

Greg Ó Ceallaigh

Greg is a barrister specialising in asylum, immigration and public law at Garden Court Chambers. He deals with many Dublin third country removals including to Italy.