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Upper Tribunal dismisses appeal from Iraqi man who pretended to be Iranian in previous asylum claim


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The Upper Tribunal has dismissed the appeal of an Iraqi man who had falsely claimed to be Iranian in his first asylum claim. The appellant had returned to Iraq in 2012 when that claim was unsuccessful, before returning to the UK and making a fresh claim in January 2020. He explained in a witness statement why he had not given his correct nationality previously, saying that he had done so on the advice of other Kurdish people he had met on his journey to the UK. His claim was rejected and the First-tier Tribunal dismissed his appeal in brief and robust terms. The Upper Tribunal also rejected his appeal, saying that the First-tier judge had dealt with all of the principal issues it needed to.

The case is Azizi (Succinct credibility findings, lies) [2024] UKUT 00065 (IAC) and the headnote summarises the main points:

1. A determination in relation to an appeal must deal with the principal controversial issues presented to the judge, and it may be possible in some circumstances to provide adequate reasons in relation to those issues succinctly, provided they deal with the points raised by the party and enable the parties to understand why the decision has been reached.

2. Where an appellant accepts that he has told lies during his immigration history it will be appropriate to consider his explanation for telling those lies, and whether that explanation is accepted, as part of the fact finding process.

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Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.