Issue 149 - 3rd August 2009

Thursday 6 August 2009

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NEWS

The Home Office has agreed to return fees for certificates of approval applied for between 1st February 2005 and 8th April 2009 if the payment of fees causes real hardship. Read more.

Government plans to concentrate foreign national prisoners in a few prisons currently being implemented under a secret agreement are likely to lead to segregation and exacerbate prisoners' isolation. Read more.

CASES

In PURDY V DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS [2009] UKHL 45 the House of Lords held that the right to decide when or how to die engaged Article 8 ECHR. There was no clear DPP policy on whether an offence was committed in the aiding and abetting of the suicide of a person who was terminally ill/severely disabled where assistance was given to a person who was aware and understood the full consequences of such action. The DPP was required under Article 8(2) to provide a specific offence policy to identify the facts and circumstances he would take into account in deciding whether to prosecute in such circumstances. Read more.

In ZB (Pakistan) [2009] EWCA Civ 834 the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal and found that the AIT had failed to assess the Article 8 ECHR rights of a 59 year old Pakistani woman with ill health who was dependent on her in the UK children. In particular, the AIT had failed to appreciate that the UK was under a positive duty to respect the right to family life. Secondly, the AIT had failed to appreciate following Huang that it was important to consider that a person's family or extended family is a group of people on which a person relies upon socially, emotionally and financially [para 18 of Huang]. These two failures led AIT into error by not looking at the issue of whether family life existed as a whole and then analysing a person's relationship within that context rather than what the AIT did which was to divide family life into segments and to proceed for each segment to find that family life did not exist. Read more.

In A (Afghanistan) v SSHD [2009] EWCA Civ 825. The Court of Appeal found that AIT had been wrong to find Article 8 ECHR was not engaged in a case of an appellant who had been refused entry clearance to join her post flight refugee husband with status in the United Kingdom. Despite the fact that there had been no cohabitation there was obviously family life between the appellant who was living in Afghanistan and her husband who had status in the United Kingdom. They had a child together and the appellant was pregnant. The AIT was wrong to hold otherwise. The SSHD was also criticised for unacceptable delays in the appeal process.

In AM, R (on the application of) v SSHD [2009] EWCA Civ 833. The Court of Appeal found [LJ Sedley dissenting] that the Home Office Iraq policy bulletin 2/2006, para 4.5 was not intended to cover an asylum seeker whose claim was refused before February 2003 because it was not accepted that the asylum seekers were from a Government Controlled Area in Iraq (GCI) notwithstanding that after the relevant period it was accepted that such persons did come from GCI. The appellants could not bring themselves within Rachid because the SSHD's decision was not unlawful. Read more.

 

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