Court of Appeal: immigration age assessments and Merton

Two recent Court of Appeal cases, heard together, have considered the legality of the immigration detention of those who are, or possibly are, minors. Such cases involve local authority age assessments, which are to be carried out according to the guidance set out in Merton [2003] EWHC 1689 (Admin). Continue reading

Not breach of rights to force doctor to disclose patient records

Gillberg v Sweden – 41723/06 [2010] ECHR 1676 (2 November 2010) – Read judgment

A Swedish professor has failed in his European Court of Human Rights challenge to his conviction for disobeying a court order to hand over sensitive information in medical research, despite having promised the participants that the information would be for his use alone.

As reported in a past blog, the fact of their confidentiality does not preclude the medical records of third party patients being disclosed in legal proceedings. So too in relation to sensitive information given confidentially in the context of medical research, in view of the recent Strasbourg case of Gillberg v Sweden (Application no. 41723/06).

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Can political asylum seekers be expected to hide their political opinions?

Expected to show him support?

TM (Zimbabwe) and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 916 – Read judgment

Is it reasonable to expect an asylum seeker on their return to their home country to lie about their political beliefs and thereby avoid persecution? This question was recently addressed by the Court of Appeal in light of a potentially wide-ranging decision of the Supreme Court relating to gay refugees.

Last month the Supreme Court held in HJ (Iran ) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] UKSC 31 that to compel a homosexual person to pretend that their sexuality does not exist is to deny him his fundamental right to be who he is (see our post). When an applicant applies for asylum on the ground of a well-founded fear of persecution because he is gay, if the tribunal concludes that a material reason for his living discreetly on his return would be a fear of the persecution which would follow if he were to live openly as a gay man, then his application should be accepted [para 82].

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