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Reasons for Refusal Letter, 11 December 2013


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Anxious scrutiny has been given the expert report from [name of expert]. It is noted that the report was produced for your solicitor “under her instruction” to aid your asylum claim. It is therefore not objective information and it is clear you were not subject to the cross examination that you underwent during your asylum appeal … The various sections of objective evidence raised in the report are also noted but do not relate to you personally.

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9 Responses

  1. “do not relate to you personally” – this one is a recurring favourite at the HO.

    I had a refusal recently saying there was no general country evidence to suggest that my client’s account was likely/plausible. I sent them a response saying “actually, I included such country evidence in my representations following the interview, had you bothered to read them”. They then sent a “supplementary refusal” saying “it is acknowledged that you included country evidence in your representations, but this information is general and not specific to your client” …

    … right.

  2. … I must say though that not giving weight to an expert report because it was instructed by a solicitor (!) is a new one, for me at least!

  3. I knew they were hiring new asylum case workers. Looks like their training could do with some improvement…

  4. “Your claim has not been considered by the Secretary of State personally but by a drunk man who wnadered in off the street looking for somewhere to sleep and started messing with the computers.”

    1. Lol, that explains the current standard of decision making. Do you think the Tribunals are giving judicial positions to the drunk and homeless too?

  5. Hey, I work with homeless clients. It is an insult to them to compare Home Office officials to them! :)

  6. Beat this one. Recently I lodged an application for a client. Refusal came stating we had failed to respond to further info requested in a letter dated … Requested a copy of said letter on 4 occasion finally in frustration lodging an online complaint with HO. Last week recieved response to my complaint: … We can not retrieve copy of letter and caseworker who dealt with matter is no longer employed by Home Office …. In the circumstances your clients matter will now be reconsidered … (!!)

  7. Instructions are generally repeated in expert report who addresses the report to the court and not the solicitor, with duties of impartiality and independence; otherwise it spells the end of the usefulness of expert reports. There are variable standards in expert reports and cross-report plagiarism is not unknown. The HO critique deserves analysis and cross verification…but if it falls short then such generalisation is corrosive and irresponsible.

  8. if this is just a maverick letter, OK; but if it represents a further hardening of the official SSHD position on expert reports then it is more worrying. In fact I have been concerned for some years that while experts witnesses are supposed to be neutral and disinterested parties they are in fact instructed, and paid, by the instructing solicitors or legal aid centre and are therefore treated by the SSHD as a hostile witness. This, it seems, has now been picked up and used as a reason for refusing a claim