Issue 30 - 9th October 2006

Monday 9 October 2006

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News

The European Commission confirmed Bulgaria’s and Romania’s EU accession on 1 January 2007, completed by a rigorous package of accompanying measures. more

Europe's first dedicated centre for victims of people-trafficking opened in Sheffield, England. The Human Trafficking Centre will aim to provide specialist care for the victims - mostly women brought from abroad and forced into prostitution. more info and also see UKHTC

The Chief Inspector of Prisons published a report that found serious failings in the provision of healthcare at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre, finding that the delivery of healthcare was undermined by a lack of needs assessment, weak audit and clinical governance systems, inadequate staff training (particularly in relation to trauma) and insufficiently detailed policies and protocols, for example with regard to food refusal and the health needs of people on re-feeding programmes. Mental health care provision was also insufficient. In the opinion of the review team, the inadequacy of healthcare systems in the IRC was compounded by the unresponsiveness of the IND to clinical concerns about an alleged history of torture or adverse medical consequences of continued detention. When clinical concerns were raised, the information was not systematically addressed or actioned. Nor was independent medical opinion sought or adhered to. more info

The President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Ren← van der Linden, described the murder of leading Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya as an attack on democracy. “Journalistic freedom is one of the pillars of democracy, so attacking journalism is an attack on democracy itself” he said. “I am shocked by this assassination of one the most courageous journalists in Russia, who did outstanding work in exposing human rights abuses in Chechnya. I would like to express my deepest sympathy to her family. It is now absolutely essential that the authorities in Russia carry out a thorough investigation in order to bring those responsible to justice”. more info

Home Office and Parliament

The Home Office announced that the Asylum Policy Instructions on Interviewing, People who are exempt for immigration control, Discretionary leave, Non-compliance, Section 31 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, Gender issues, Handling claims, Transfer, Cancellation and Cessation of Refugee Status, have all been revised. The new policies take their place amongst the other ones, click here to view

Cases

In Ocampo v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 1276 (05 October 2006) the Court of Appeal found that the decision of an Adjudicator finding a person to be a credible witness was not, merely because it was unappealed and not obtained by fraud or collusion, conclusive evidence as to the credibility of that person, given the need for considerations of fairness to play a part in proceedings. Hence the Deevaseelan guidelines are relevant to cases where the parties involved are not the same but there is a material overlap of evidence.
more info

In Murungaru v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2006] EWHC 2416 (Admin) (04 October 2006) the Administrative Court considered the exclusion of an individual from the UK for diplomatic reasons. Acknowledging a public law duty on the Secretary of State to act fairly in disclosing the reasons for such a decision, the Court also found that as Article 6 of the ECHR does not cover decisions to exclude someone from overseas from the United Kingdom, Article 6(1) is only engaged if some other right is engaged, in this case a contractual right to medical treatment such as to engage Article 1 of the First Protocol, ie the right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. As such, the exclusion must be (a) provided for by law and (b) in the public interest, which would require that the Secretary of State acted fairly. In the circumstances the Court would have to look at the confidential material said to justify exclusion for itself, and the matter was adjourned for appropriate arrangements to be made. read more

Mitting J in the Administrative Court in R (E) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWHC 2500 (Admin) considered whether there should be an interim award of damages for unlawful detention and if so the sum that should be awarded transcript available from Refugee Legal “Google” Group

The European Court of Human Rights found, in Case Of The Moscow Branch Of The Salvation Army V. Russia (Application no. 72881/01), that there was no reasonable and objective justification for a difference in treatment of Russian and foreign nationals as regards their ability to exercise the right to freedom of religion through participation in the life of organised religious communities. Hence in denying registration to the Moscow Branch of The Salvation Army, the Moscow authorities did not act in good faith and neglected their duty of neutrality and impartiality vis-¢-vis the applicant's religious community: this was an an unjustified interference with the applicant's right to freedom of religion and association. more info

The European Court of Justice considered, in Bot v Pr←fet du Val-de-Marne (Case C/241/05), the interpretation of the term ‘first entry’ in Article 20(1) of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement. They found that the term ‘first entry’ in that provision refers, besides the very first entry into the territories of the Contracting States to that agreement, to the first entry into those territories taking place after the expiry of a period of six months from that very first entry and also to any other first entry taking place after the expiry of any new period of six months following an earlier date of first entry. more info

In Minister for Immigration & Multicultural Affairs v SZFDE [2006] FCAFC 142 (3 October 2006), the Full Court of the Federal Court of Appeal in Australia considered an Appellant's failure to attend a hearing brought about by fraudulent conduct of her legal advisors. French J found that this could lead to jurisdictional error that would undermine the decision below. Unfortunately the majority disagreed. more info

Events

Garden Court hosts the Electronic Immigration Network’s (EIN) AGM on Tuesday October 17TH 2006 from 5.00pm. The event will commence with EIN's AGM for EIN Members and be followed by a buffet and refreshments in the gracious Georgian environs of Garden Court Chambers, Guest Speaker - Andrew Puddephatt - Director of 'Global-Partners', formerly Director of Liberty, Charter88 & Article 19, on "Challenges & Opportunities for Freedom of Expression in the modern world." Those wishing to attend this event should send a confirmation to Louis Julienne, email: director@ein.org.uk

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