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Tribunal orders Home Office to arrange DNA test for Yezidi children at Calais


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Two children in the Calais camp applied to join their mother in the UK, who had been recognised as a refugee in 2010. There were both from the Yezidi minority in Iraq. She had not mentioned her children when she applied for asylum and the Home Office refused to accept the children were hers but also refused to arrange a DNA test, which would have resolved the issue beyond doubt.

The official headnote:

(i) In making a decision whether to accept a “take charge” request under the Dublin Regulation, the Secretary of State is obliged to take all material considerations into account and to comply with the “Tameside” duty of enquiry.
(ii) The Dublin Regulation and its sister instrument, Commission Regulation (EC) 1550/2003, subject the Secretary of State to duties of enquiry, investigation and evidence gathering. The discharge of these duties will be factually and contextually sensitive and is governed by the principle that the Secretary of State is obliged to take reasonable steps.
(iii) In a context where there are successive “take charge” requests and successive decisions in response thereto, the aforementioned duties apply throughout.
(iv) The aforementioned duties may also arise via the procedural dimension of Article 8 ECHR, under Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
(v) The principles rehearsed above may give rise to a remedy comprising a mandatory order requiring the Secretary of State to take all reasonable steps and use her best endeavours in certain specified respects.

Source: MK & IKR, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Calais; Dublin Regulation – investigative duty) (IJR) [2016] UKUT 231 (IAC) (24 May 2016)

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.