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We’ve been scooped on this one by The Sun, of all places. As every lefty lawyer’s favourite paper reports, a judge has temporarily abolished the 45-day limit on help for trafficking victims pending a further hearing. Victims of human trafficking are entitled to £65 per week, accommodation at a safe house and a support worker. But this support ends 45 days after a “conclusive grounds decision” that they are a definitely a victim. Two victims, known as NN and LP, are challenging the 45-day rule as unlawful. The High Court has granted permission for a judicial review, to be heard in May or June. In the meantime, Mr Justice Julian...
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In 2011, the landmark case of MSS v Belgium and Greece concluded that conditions in Greece were so dire, asylum seekers’ human rights would be breached if returned. Removals to Greece under the Dublin III Regulation were suspended as a result.  Though conditions in Greece remain critical, in December 2016 the European Commission recommended that Dublin returns to Greece resume. Many member states, most notably Germany, began to bombard Greece with take back requests. The Greek Asylum Service denied most requests and were clear in their refusals – adequate reception conditions for returnees cannot be assured in Greece: The Home Office has sent Greece only two take back requests since...
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When someone pursuing an appeal in the immigration tribunal decides that they no longer want the appeal to go ahead, who gets to decide when the appeal comes to an end? The person themselves, the tribunal, or the Home Office? In July 2017, Mr Justice McCloskey, President of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) at that time, decided that it is up to the tribunal when an appeal ends. A high-powered bench led by his successor has now overturned this decision. In Anwar (rule 17(1): withdrawal of appeal) [2019] UKUT 125 (IAC) the current President, Mr Justice Lane, sitting with his Vice-President Mr Ockelton and the President of the...
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A recent change in the Home Office’s good character policy for citizenship applications is set to have a significant impact on people with a history of overstaying. The department expressly states for the first time that any overstaying in the last ten years will see an application for British citizenship refused, with some minor exceptions. The new policy appears in the Good Character Requirement guidance. This was published in January 2019 but has received comparatively little notice amid the wider upheaval in the UK’s immigration laws of late. The 53-page guidance has already been considered in previous blog posts, here and here, but the few lines on overstaying merit particular...
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The Court of Appeal has just handed down a blockbuster judgment on the highly controversial use of paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules to refuse settlement to migrants over alleged tax discrepancies. It says that the Home Office’s stance in these case was “legally flawed” and allowed all four of the linked appeals decided. The case, one of the most important of 2019 to date, is Balajigari v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 673. The court covers a great deal of ground in a 223-paragraph decision, but handily summarise their conclusions at the end. There is also a press summary (pdf). The Secretary of State’s...
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The Upper Tribunal has handed down two cases with guidance on a range of issues relating to the automatic deportation regime. In both cases the appellants sought to rely on statements from the Supreme Court in KO (Nigeria) and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKSC 53, which held that bad behaviour by parents is irrelevant when decision-makers consider the best interests of children. Unfortunately, neither of the appellants was able to demonstrate that the Supreme Court intended to generally make the automatic deportation regime more liberal. The cases were heard together and are best understood as a pair. Critical stage of child’s development As our infographic...
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On 11 February 2003, a Turkish man who had been refused asylum in the UK staged a protest at Manchester Airport, burning immigration papers before dousing himself, his wife and their daughter with petrol and threatening to light a match. Thankfully, the self-immolation was prevented. The Home Office made a deportation order and removed the offender after completion of his two-year prison sentence for affray. EYF (Turkey) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 592 was an unsuccessful attempt to overturn that deportation order, now 15 years old. EYF’s sole argument by the time of the appeal hearing was about paragraph 391 of the Immigration Rules....
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Government guidance asserts that an asylum claim based on a blood feud in Albania is likely to be certifiable as clearly unfounded under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. In my view, this is fundamentally misconceived. Certification under section 94 is a draconian measure which deprives the claimant of an in-country right of appeal, leaving judicial review as their only remedy. A claim being “clearly unfounded” means “so clearly without substance that it was bound to fail”: Thangarasa and Yogathas [2002] UKHL 36. Where a protection claim is certified as clearly unfounded, the certification normally is not based upon issues of credibility, unless the claim is...
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The European Court of Human Rights has held that the extradition to Iran of a man accused of theft would breach Article 3 of the human rights convention despite the Iranian authorities providing an assurance that he would not be tortured. In GS v Bulgaria (application no. 36538/17) the Strasbourg court provides guidance on the kind of assurances required from the state requesting extradition. It has confirmed that it will not tolerate extradition unless the assurance is specific and trustworthy. GS was wanted for theft. If convicted of that offence he was at risk of receiving corporal punishment, specifically seventy four lashes. The Strasbourg court did not hesitate to label...
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The Upper Tribunal has referred an immigration adviser to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), accusing him of running judicial review cases without a licence and failing to properly check expert reports. The case is R (Hoxha & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (representatives: professional duties) [2019] UKUT 124 (IAC). It was a “Hamid” disciplinary hearing convened to review the conduct of Salman Shaheen Zafar, who practises as Zafar Law Chambers. The tribunal suspects Zafar Law Chambers of being behind 100 abusive judicial reviews in 2018 alone. The challenges were all lodged by individual migrants, but had the same generic 42 pages of irrelevant...
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