New Immigration Rules coming into force 1 July 2013. For a copy click here
A film about the treatment of refugees and migrants in Greece. For more information about Into the Fire click here.
It is being suggested by the Home Office representatives appearing before Tribunals in bail applications that there will be no forced returns to Democratic Republic of Congo before February 2014. A Judicial review will be heard on 19 February 2014 in the High Court looking at the issue of safety of returns to DRC for failed asylum seekers on the basis of comments made by the DRC ambassador to the UK government. [Case references Rugombagabo (CO/7194/2012) and D(DRC)(CO/5969/2012)]. There is nothing in writing from the Home Office to confirm their current policy on removals of failed asylum seekers to DRC but may be worth raising the issue of pending litigation on safety of removal to DRC if clients are in detention or at risk of removal.
L & Others v The Childrens Commissioner for England & Anor  EWCA Crim 991
21 June 2013
The Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal allowed appeals against conviction by victims of child trafficking. Three of the appeals concerned children found in cannabis farms in the UK and prosecuted due to their presence there. In one of the cases the child had been prosecuted as an adult despite being a child. The Court of Appeal held that where a child victim of trafficking was facing criminal proceedings his or her best interests were not only a relevant consideration but were a primary consideration and this consideration arose under International law (Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.) All the evidence bearing on the issue of age, trafficking, exploitation and culpability must be addressed.
The Court of Appeal also considered submissions made by the Childrens Commissioner in relation to the proper approach to age assessments in the criminal courts and found that the criminal courts had a statutory duty to make enquiries about a defendant's age beyond a superficial assessment of the defendant in court or in the dock. That may involve further investigations or evidence.
The Court of Appeal also provided useful guidance to criminal courts about how the interests of those who are or who may be victims of trafficking and in particular child victims of human trafficking should be approached when they become involved in criminal activities and prosecutions against them have already been commenced by the Crown Prosecution Service. A criminal court should protect the rights of victims of trafficking by overseeing the decision of the prosecutor and refusing to countenance any prosecution which fails to acknowledge and address the victims subservient situation and the international obligations to which the United Kingdom is a party which include the EU Anti Trafficking Directive.
The Court of Appeal identified that the test was not just whether the decision to prosecute had been reasonable but that whether issues relating to age, trafficking and exploitation lead the court to disagree with the decision to prosecute. It had characterised its role as being to stand between the prosecution and victim of trafficking where the crimes committed had been an aspect of his or her exploitation. The Court of Appeal also found that a criminal court had to decide whether the offences committed by a child was a manifestation of his or her exploitation as a victim of trafficking and/or whether the crime he or she is alleged to have committed was consequent on and integral to the exploitation of which he or she was a victim. If the court decided that they were, it would have to stay proceedings, as to permit the prosecution to continue would amount to an abuse of process. For the full judgment click here. For the Garden Court news item, click here.
R (on the application of Warnborough College Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2013)Warnborough College was given permission to apply for judicial review of the Secretary of State for the Home Department refusal of its application for a highly trusted sponsor licence as there was some prospect that it would succeed in arguing that the highly trusted sponsor policy was unlawful. For the full judgment click here.
Immigration Law Training
JCWI, Thursday 11 July 2013
This seminar will focus on the new Immigration Rules relating to family migration including the EEA route. It will provide a fascinating update on recent case law developments on Article 8 and EEA law. Speakers include Navtej Singh Ahluwalia. For full details, click here.
Catch up on the new immigration rules changesOISC Level 1 Accreditation Training
HJT Training, Tuesday 16 July 2013
HJT Training has introduced a one day course for those newer to immigration law wishing to accredit at entry level. The aim of this course is to give delegates sufficient knowledge for Level 1 assessments with the OISC focussing on their new core requirements, their examinations being revamped from Summer 2013. For full details, click here.