Issue 24 - 31st July 2006

Monday 31 July 2006

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News

Raging sectarian violence has pushed up the number of refugees in Iraq by 20,000 in the last 10 days alone, reported the migration ministry. Read more

In Lebanon, the UN estimates that 800,000 Lebanese have been displaced by recent events, a huge number for a country of 3.5 million. Sami Haddad, the Lebanese minister of economy, stated "We have between 20% and 25% of our population that is turned into refugees. What government can cope with that?" Read more

Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers published a report on 26 July 2006 on Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre, which heavily criticises the detention of children. Her call for "a complete overhaul of the detention of children" was supported by the No Place for a Child Coalition. Key concerns were that there was no evidence that children's welfare was taken into account when making detention decisions and there were weaknesses in child protection arrangements. Read more

In a report on the American system of asylum appeals that may remind readers of home, data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a Justice Department agency which oversees immigration courts, showed that Immigration judges vary sharply in their willingness to grant asylum to foreigners seeking to live in the United States - with denial rates ranging from 10 percent to more than 98 percent, according to researchers who reviewed federal figures. Rates were worse for asylum-seekers without lawyers, with 93 percent losing their case compared to 64 percent for those with a lawyer. The denial rate for all asylum seekers was 69 percent. Read more

Cases

In Mukarkar v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 1045 (25 July 2006) the Court of Appeal criticised the Home Office for not accepting decisions of the specialist Tribunal given the increase in litigation that this brought. They commented on the need to take a sensible, shared approach to the collection of evidence regarding Article 8(2) issues, and expressed the view that Ekinci was a decision on its own facts that did not lay down any general proposition of law.

In Ghebru v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 1043 (19 July 2006) Brooke LJ in the Court of Appeal lambasted the Secretary of State for repeatedly deferring its decision whether or not to resist an appeal for months after it has received notice of the grounds on which permission to appeal has been granted, a practice which was creating serious problems for the proper administration of justice in the Court of Appeal.

In AK v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 1117 (31 July 2006) the Court of Appeal commented on the relevance of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons in immigration appeals and on the denial of return to their country of habitual residence for stateless persons, and found that the decision of the Court of Appeal in GH in relation to the route and method of return does not bite on the question of ill treatment at the border, including refusal of re-entry.

In JS (Victims of gang violence, Sufficiency of protection) Jamaica CG [2006] UKAIT 00057 the Tribunal found that there is not only a willingness, but also an ability on the part of the Jamaican state, to provide through its legal system a reasonable level of protection from ill-treatment to its citizens, albeit that this finding was not intended to conflict with the Home Office concession in DW Jamaica that the authorities would not provide a sufficiency of protection to a Jamaican homosexual. Read more

Events and Training

The Refugee council have organised a conference: Health and Social Care for vulnerable refugees and aslyum seekers. 1 November 2006, London and 07 November 2006, York

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