All Articles: Tribunal

Missing grounds not necessarily fatal to Upper Tribunal appeal application

If your asylum or immigration application is refused by the Home Office, and you have a right of appeal, your appeal will be heard in the First-tier Tribunal (FTT). If you lose your appeal at the FTT, you may be able to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. B ...

30th May 2022 By

End of the AM (Zimbabwe) saga? Tribunal returns to Article 3 medical cases

Practitioners will no doubt be aware of the Supreme Court’s decision in AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 17. The justices endorsed the European Court of Human Rights decision in Paposhvili v Belgium (applica ...

19th May 2022 By

Dishonesty is not a “precedent fact” issue in a judicial review

This was the unsurprising finding of the Upper Tribunal in R (Ashrafuzzaman) v Entry Clearance Officer (precedent fact; general grounds refusal) [2022] UKUT 133 (IAC). The exception is where human rights are involved (more on that later). Although the ...

17th May 2022 By

Iraq country guidance on ID cards revised

The Upper Tribunal judgment in SMO & KSP (Civil status documentation; article 15) Iraq CG [2022] UKUT 110 (IAC) comes as a relief for those representing Iraqi nationals who fear that they cannot be properly re-documented on return to Iraq. The cas ...

16th May 2022 By

Upper Tribunal dives into the Refugee Convention exclusion clauses

The signatories of the Refugee Convention thought that some people didn’t deserve protection on account of having committed particularly heinous crimes. They therefore introduced “exclusion clauses”, found at Article 1F of the Convention. Ac ...

13th May 2022 By

Upper Tribunal reiterates high threshold in Article 3 cases

In HA (expert evidence, mental health) Sri Lanka [2022] UKUT 111 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal considers whether the removal of a Sri Lankan man with mental health difficulties would violate Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 3 p ...

4th May 2022 By

What are the duties of an expert witness in the immigration tribunal?

Expert reports are common in asylum and human rights cases. They usually address either the conditions in the applicant’s country of origin or their physical or mental health. The duties of an expert witness giving evidence in court are well establi ...

28th April 2022 By

Nothing wrong with official evidence of English language test cheating, Upper Tribunal holds

This decision forms the next episode in the saga of cases arising from the Test of English for International Communication (“TOEIC”) certificates obtained from test centres in the United Kingdom administering tests set by the Educational T ...

26th April 2022 By

Home Office agrees to reconsider landmark Ukraine asylum case

The Home Office has agreed to withdraw its decision to refuse asylum to a Ukrainian man who evaded the military draft, meaning that an appeal from the country guidance decision of PK and OS (basic rules of human conduct) Ukraine CG [2020] UKUT 314 wil ...

31st March 2022 By

Article 3 protects asylum seekers against removal even if they could leave voluntarily

Where an individual would be at risk if forcibly returned to a part of his country of nationality, is it a valid answer to a protection claim that he might nevertheless avoid any such risk by returning voluntarily to another part of that country, even ...

18th February 2022 By

What role does the European Convention Against Trafficking play in UK law?

In R (SV) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] UKUT 239 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has held that the European Convention Against Trafficking (ECAT) not being a part of UK domestic law is no reason to refuse to examine the lawfulness of a ...

16th February 2022 By

English barristers CAN argue immigration cases in Scotland… so long as they don’t set foot there

A Scottish lawyer can represent a client in the immigration tribunal anywhere in the UK. The same is true of a Northern Irish lawyer. The same is true of a level 3 adviser registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. Lawyers pr ...

15th February 2022 By

Can the Iranian government see what dissidents post on Facebook?

The Upper Tribunal has put out a country guidance ruling on the Iranian government’s monitoring of dissidents on Facebook. Previous case law on the general human rights situation in Iran continues to hold good, but the new decision makes additio ...

3rd February 2022 By

Upper Tribunal revisits “marriages of convenience”

This blog has previously discussed the difficulties that arise from the different definitions of “sham marriage” and “marriage of convenience”. The Upper Tribunal has now returned to this topic in the recent decision of Saeed ( ...

26th January 2022 By

British citizenship can be taken away if criminal offending not disclosed

The Upper Tribunal has affirmed the continuing obligation to disclose material facts in applications for naturalisation as a British citizen, including facts which arise after submitting the application. The case is Walile (deprivation: self-incrimina ...

24th January 2022 By

“Westernised” Iraqi family granted asylum

What does it mean to be ‘westernised’? It is striking that a term that is used so frequently in this jurisdiction has never been more closely defined. I would suggest that this is because, like obscene material, it is because we ‘know it when we ...

19th January 2022 By

Inflexible biometrics policy for refugee family reunion declared unlawful

In R (SGW) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Biometrics , family reunion policy) [2022] UKUT 15 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal decided that Home Office guidance on refugee family reunion applications is unlawful because it fails to accurately d ...

17th January 2022 By

Ethiopia still not safe for Oromo Liberation Front supporters, country guidance confirms

In AAR (OLF – MB confirmed) Ethiopia CG [2022] UKUT 1 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has confirmed that the situation in Ethiopia has not changed substantially enough to allow a departure from previous country guidance. This is important because peop ...

17th January 2022 By

Human rights damages claims can be transferred from Upper Tribunal to County Court

The Upper Tribunal has decided that it has the power to transfer damages claims resulting from judicial review proceedings to the County Court. The tribunal held that its incidental powers mirror those enjoyed by the High Court, which routinely transf ...

10th January 2022 By

Ex-partners don’t retain EU law residence rights after domestic abuse

Singh (EEA; EFMs) [2021] UKUT 319 (IAC) is the latest instalment from the Upper Tribunal on EU free movement law in outstanding cases from before Brexit — specifically, retained rights of residence for “durable partners”. Mr Singh ha ...

10th January 2022 By

Restricted leave and Russian justice: when is refusing ILR irrational?

How should the Home Secretary deal with asylum seekers who are excluded from the protection of the Refugee Convention but cannot be deported? Since 2011, the restricted leave policy has sought to address that question. Restricted by name and restricti ...

22nd December 2021 By

Man who has never left the UK avoids deportation after seven-year legal battle

A 38-year-old man born in the UK without British citizenship cannot be deported to a country he has never even been to, the Upper Tribunal has decided. The case is Akinyemi v Secretary of State for the Home Department (unreported, DA/00574/2014). Rem ...

7th December 2021 By

Cessation, Article 3 and removing refugees from the UK

In the case of PS (cessation principles) Zimbabwe [2021] UKUT 283 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has reiterated the correct approach to cessation of refugee status. The case is also a helpful reminder of when a serious criminal offence can and cannot lead ...

29th November 2021 By

The meaning of “admissible” in statelessness cases

In R (AZ) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (statelessness “admissible”) [2021] UKUT 284 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal addressed the issue of admissibility to the country of former habitual residence in the context of statelessness applicat ...

29th November 2021 By

EU law still applies in legacy appeals under the EEA Regulations

Geci (EEA Regs: transitional provisions, appeal rights) Albania [2021] UKUT 285 (IAC) is another appeal under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, but with “highly unusual” facts. Mr Geci had returned to the UK in bre ...

26th November 2021 By

Early guilty plea saves 75-year-old woman from deportation to USA

The seriousness of a criminal offence is a key factor in deportation cases. It is generally judged with reference to the sentence given by the criminal courts. But what happens when that sentence has been discounted due to an early guilty plea? Last y ...

22nd November 2021 By

Upper Tribunal revisits issue of permission for video evidence from abroad

Last week I set out some observations on the taking of evidence by videoconference from abroad. I pointed to substantial authority that, in the case of the willing litigant or witness outside the UK dialling up on Zoom, where no judicial assistance ( ...

22nd November 2021 By

Upper Tribunal reminds everyone: this is not the place for new evidence

Immigration appeals can last a long time: often years and years. What happens when things change during the appeal? This is the question answered by the Upper Tribunal in Akter (appellate jurisdiction; E and R challenges) [2021] UKUT 272 (IAC). The m ...

16th November 2021 By

Fresh guidance on fresh claims

What amounts to a “fresh claim” for permission to stay in the UK and how should the immigration tribunal handle challenges arguing that someone’s case should be treated as a fresh claim? These were the questions considered by the Upp ...

3rd November 2021 By

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

No blanket relief for appellants denied hearing under unlawful pandemic guidance

At the outset of the pandemic, on 23 March 2021, Upper Tribunal President Lane issued guidance for making deciding immigration appeals “on the papers”, without an oral hearing. As all immigration practitioners know, oral hearings are essen ...

27th September 2021 By

Deprivation of citizenship for fraud after Begum

In Ciceri (deprivation of citizenship appeals: principles) [2021] UKUT 238 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has applied the guidance given in R (Begum) v Special Immigration Appeals Commission [2021] UKSC 7 to deprivation of citizenship appeals on grounds ...

27th September 2021 By
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