Category: Immigration/Extradition


Supreme Court bolsters rights of children in deportation cases

1 February 2011 by

Updated | ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 4 (1 February 2011) – Read judgment / press summary / our analysis

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that in cases where a parent is threatened with deportation, the best interests of their child or children must be taken into account, particularly when the children are citizens by virtue of being born in this country.

Following her leading judgment in last week’s domestic violence case, for which she has been dubbed the “Brilliant Baroness”, Baroness Hale has delivered another wide-ranging, principled judgment which will bring immigration courts into line with current thinking on child welfare and article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to family life). The basic point is that children’s views must be taken into account, and this should include asking them what they think.

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Information is knowledge, knowledge is power

21 January 2011 by

R (on the application of Guardian News and Media Limited) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2010] EWHC 3376 – Read judgment

The Guardian newspaper has failed to convince the High Court that it should be able to see  key documents in the trial of three men threatened with extradition to the United States on charges of corruption and bribery. The case highlights the finely balanced right to freedom of information.

Since the European Convention of Human Rights came into force in 1953, the scope of the rights contained within it has grown along with the jurisprudence it has given rise to. As times have changed, the Article 8 right to respect for private life has, for example, grown to encompass increased rights for both pre- and post-operative transsexuals. More recently, the Article 10 right to freedom of expression has also been said by the European Court of Human Rights to include a right to access certain kinds of information. The scope of human rights, like many legal definitions, appear to have a metastatic tendency. However, in a recent case involving Art 10 the High Court drew a line in the sand, at least as regards the limited sphere of access to court documents in extradition cases.

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More poor human rights reporting in “killer of Gurkha’s son” deportation case

17 January 2011 by

Immigration and deportation decisions are regularly used to attack the Human Rights Act, and are raised as examples of why it must be amended or replaced. But a recent deportation case shows that such decisions are often poorly reported and articles ignore crucial details.

Yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph reported on the case of a man who killed a Gurkha soldier’s son and cannot be deported because of human rights law. According to David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent, the controversial decision will “intensify pressure” on the prime minister “who has so far failed to deliver a Conservative promise to rip up the Human Rights Act.”

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Child detention: More smoke and mirrors

13 January 2011 by

R (on the application of) Reetha Suppiah and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Interveners [2011] EWHC 2 (Admin) – Read judgment

A high court judge has ruled that two asylum seekers and their children were unlawfully detained at Yarl’s Wood immigration centre last year.

This ruling will add fuel to the flames of the debate over whether the government is truly committed to ending the detention of children in immigration centres, or whether they intend merely to “minimise” it.

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Policy to prevent forced marriages “arbitrary and disruptive”, says Court of Appeal

4 January 2011 by

Quila & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2010] EWCA Civ 1482 – Read judgment

A key part of the government’s strategy to combat forced marriages, preventing people under the age of 21 from entering the country to marry, has been heavily criticised by the Court of Appeal.

The decision shows that even policies which pursue a legitimate and laudable aim must still be a proportionate to the problem they seek to address, or risk breaching the human rights of those affected. But it also highlights how difficult it is to set effective policies to combat hazardous arrangements which can involve rape, child abuse and domestic violence, and affect thousands of UK residents annually.

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“Asylum seeker death driver” case was misunderstood

22 December 2010 by

The Secretary of State for the Home Department v Respondent [2010] UKUT B1 – Read judgment

There has been public outrage over the ruling of two Senior Immigration Judges that it would be unlawful to deport Aso Mohammed Ibrahim, an Iraqi Kurd, who has been labelled an “asylum seeker death driver”

The fury has not been limited to the lay public or the media, but “great anger” has also been expressed by high-profile figures such as Prime Minister David Cameron, a well-known critic of the Human Rights Act. The Government’s embarrassment over the decision has prompted Immigration Minister, Damian Green, to announce that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will appeal the decision, and there have been more drastic calls from Tory MPs for the scrapping of the Human Rights Act.

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When asylum seekers commit war crimes

17 December 2010 by

Secretary of State for the Home Department v DD (Afghanistan) [2010] EWCA Civ 1407 (10 December 2010) – Read judgment

It is a sometimes controversial aspect of immigration law that asylum seekers facing a real risk of persecution will nevertheless be denied the protection of the Refugee Convention, through the application of Article 1F of that Convention.  One of the bases for exclusion from protection is Article 1F(c), which applies where a person “has been guilty of acts contrary to the principles of the United Nations”. How does a court decide such cases?

The Court of Appeal has reversed the decision of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) in a case involving an Afghani asylum seeker. The AIT had ruled that Article 1F did not apply, and so DD was entitled to refugee status.  The AIT’s conclusion was reached despite DD admitting a history of involvement with organisations engaged in violent activities against the Afghan Goverment and UN-mandated forces:  Jamiat-e-Islami, the Taliban, and Hizb-e-Islami. The Home Secretary’s appeal was allowed and the case was remitted to the AIT for a limited reconsideration.

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UK scheme to police sham marriages slammed by Human Rights court

16 December 2010 by

O’Donoghue and Others v. the United Kingdom(application no. 34848/07):


The government’s system for preventing sham marriages as an entry ploy for immigrants breached the right to marry and was discriminatory – read judgment.

By the time this case was lodged the Certificate of Approval Scheme had been much diluted by a series of amendments, but even so the Court found itself to be “gravely concerned” with the policy.  This, along with the surprisingly lenient approach to the applicants’ failure to exhaust local remedies, suggests that the Court was anxious to address what it sees as endemic problems in the UK’s border control policy.  If states want to use impediments to marriage as an entry deterrent, it says, then they must face being rapped with the Article 12 stick.
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Wikileaks and the arrest of Julian Assange

8 December 2010 by

Updated | Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested yesterday and refused bail after a hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court.

He was not arrested in relation to the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, but rather on suspicion of having sexually assaulted two women in Sweden. His lawyers have said that “many believe” the arrest was politically motivated.

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War crimes arrest warrant law to change

7 December 2010 by


Tzipi Livni

Updated | A new bill which seeks to reform the powers of the police also seeks to make it harder to issue private arrest warrants for universal jurisdiction offences, such as war crimes, torture and hostage taking,

The controversial change would mean that they can only be issued where there is a reasonable prospect of a successful prosecution (see our previous post).

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill has now started its passage through Parliament, following its introduction to the House of Commons on 30 November 2010.


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Failure to deport Philip Lawrence killer was not about human rights

29 November 2010 by

It has been widely reported that Learco Chindamo, who was convicted of killing headmaster Philip Lawrence in 1995, has been rearrested only months after being released from jail. The story has reopened a debate over the Human Rights Act, on the basis that it prevented Chindamo from being deported to his native Italy. But did it?

In fact, what the case really highlights is that the unpopularity of the Human Rights Act is in part due to inaccurate media reporting of human rights cases, even 10 years after it came into force.

The Telegraph reported at the end of last week that Frances Lawrence, Philip Lawrence’s widow, has urged the prime minister to act on his previous pledges to scrap the Human Rights Act, as

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Lies and damned lies: the standard of proof in asylum cases

26 November 2010 by

MA (Somalia) (Respondent) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) [2010] UKSC 49 – read judgment (press summary in earlier post)

The Supreme Court has ruled that where the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) had directed itself correctly as to the impact of an asylum seeker’s lies on his claim, the Court of Appeal should have been very slow to find that it had gone on to apply that direction incorrectly.

This case brings to the fore the very difficult task facing immigration judges trying to determine the veracity of claimants’ testimony in asylum cases. The Supreme Court declined to express a conclusive view on the standard of proof in this area, a point which was acknowledged to be “both difficult and important”. It was left for an authoritative decision by that Court – but when such an occasion arise? The importance of settling this point cannot be overstated.
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Asylum tribunal must think properly about private life

26 November 2010 by

HM (Iraq) v The secretary of state for the home department [2010] EWCA Civ 1322 – Read judgment

The Court of Appeal has overruled the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal’s decision to deport a 25-year-old Iraqi citizen who had lived in the UK since he was 12 and had recently been sent to prison for drug dealing, on the basis that it did not think carefully enough about his human rights to private and family life.

The decision – which is unusually concise and easy to follow – highlights the careful balancing exercise which an asylum and immigration tribunal must undertake in order to weigh up whether a person’s human rights to private and family life outweigh the public good of sending them back to their home country. In this case, although HM won his appeal, his case must now be reheard – for a third time – by an asylum tribunal.

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Asylum seeker’s lies relevant to outcome of claim, says Supreme Court

25 November 2010 by

MA (Somalia) (Respondent) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) [2010] UKSC 49. Read judgment

Update,  26 November – Rosalind English’s case comment is here

The following report is based on the press summary provided by the Supreme Court.

The issues raised in this appeal were: (1) the correct approach to the relevance of lies told by an asylum seeker in the assessment of real risk of persecution on return to his or her country of origin; and (2) how far it is legitimate for an appeal court to interfere with the assessment of facts made by a specialist tribunal on the grounds of error of law.

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UK and Strasbourg to conflict over return of Iraqi refugees

24 November 2010 by

Iraqis whose applications for asylum are unsuccessful will be continued to be deported, according to a government minister. The announcement comes despite the European Court of Human Rights effectively calling for a freeze on the practice.

The BBC reported on Monday that Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt told the them that Iraq was now considered safe enough for people to return to. An earlier post explored the legal implications of the return by the UK of Baghdad last year.  The Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) held that the degree of indiscriminate violence in Iraq was not so high that the appellants could resist return.
Other parties, such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, maintain that much of Iraq remains unsafe, although the majority are sent to the North where explosions and shootings are not the danger they are in the South. But as long as the UK government maintain the view that Iraq is no longer a war-torn country, there are no grounds for the Iraqi’s continued presence in here.
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Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption ALBA Al Qaeda animal rights anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 Artificial Intelligence Asbestos assisted suicide asylum Australia autism benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery Catholicism Chagos Islanders Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners climate change clinical negligence Coercion common law confidentiality consent conservation constitution contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus Coroners costs Court of Protection crime Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation deportation deprivation of liberty Detention disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Family Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage Gaza genetics Germany Google Grenfell Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests international law internet Inuit Iran Iraq Ireland Islam Israel Italy IVF Japan Judaism judicial review jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid Leveson Inquiry LGBTQ Rights liability Libel Liberty Libya Lithuania local authorities marriage mental capacity Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery music Muslim nationality national security NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury Piracy Plagiarism planning Poland Police Politics pollution press Prisoners Prisons privacy Professional Discipline Property proportionality Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia Saudi Arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing statelessness stop and search Strasbourg Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance Syria Tax technology Terrorism tort Torture travel treaty TTIP Turkey UK Ukraine USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wind farms WomenInLaw YearInReview Zimbabwe
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