Issue 46 - 19th March 2007

Monday 19 March 2007

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Government and Parliament

Fees for entry clearance for marriage or for settlement go up on 1 April to a whopping £500 under the Consular Fees Order 2007, SI 2007/649. Student entry clearance will cost £99. Fees for the issue of passports are also increased under the Order.

The Accession (Immigration and Worker Authorisation) (Amendment) Regulations 2007, SI 2007/475 amend the 2006 Regulations to ensure that Bulgarian and Romanian students, whose leave permitted them to work part-time and during vacations, are not put in a worse position by accession.

The European Communities (Employment in the Civil Service) Order 2007, SI 2007/617, allows EU nationals to work in a wider range of civil service jobs.

Events

On 22nd March 2007, the Refugee Council is holding a conference on Practice and procedure: An asylum policy and legislation update in York. Contact the Refugee Council for details.

On 20 March 2007 ILPA will hold a course on Race Discrimination and Immigration at the St Bride Institute, London .
Contact their training department via www.ilpa.org.uk or 0207 251 8383

On 30 March 2007 HJT Training plan to hold a conference on country of origin information featuring expert witnesses and lawyers speaking on Pakistan, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea and Iraq.
Book via www.hjt-training.co.uk or 0208 303 3013

 

Cases

On AA Zimbabwe's return to the Court of Appeal, the Court held on 6 March 2007 (at [2007] EWCA Civ 149) that the Tribunal had erred in law in failing to consider significant parts of the oral evidence of two former members of the Zimbabwean military intelligence that went to support an asylum seeker's case that involuntarily returning failed asylum seekers faced a real risk of serious ill-treatment upon their arrival at the airport in Zimbabwe.

Another case where the Secretary of State's decision that representations did not amount to a fresh claim was successfully challenged: R (Ahaydar) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2007] EWHC (Admin), 9.3.07, Mitting J.

The 'family amnesty' was not unlawful for excluding certain families because of the ages of their children on a particular date. The policy had practical and economic objectives as well as social and compassionate ones: R (Maria Lucy Occasiones de Franco) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2007] EWHC (Admin), 6.3.07, Black J.

The cessation clause, Art 1C of the Refugee Convention has no application in the determination of whether an asylum claimant qualifies as a refugee, and MW (national passport: re-availment of national protection) Pakistan [2004] UKIAT 00136 was wrongly decided: NM (Afghanistan) [2007] EWCA Civ 214.

The Court of Appeal gave guidance on its practice when a notice of appeal is filed late in BR (Iran) [2007] EWCA Civ 198. The court is more likely to extend time when the Tribunal has already granted permission and where the delay in filing the notice is not the appellant's fault, but solicitors who fail to lodge a notice promptly may be reported.

A reminder that expert witnesses must be careful in their reports was delivered by the Court of Appeal in HH (Ethiopia) [2007] EWCA Civ (15 March 2007), holding that an immigration judge had been entitled to reject the conclusion of a medical expert that an asylum seeker had been truthful in her claim that she had been beaten as the expert's report contained inconsistencies and it was not within her remit to make findings on credibility.

AIT

The Tribunal held in MM (UDPS members - Risk on return) Democratic Republic of Congo CG [2007] UKAIT 00023 that despite indications from recent political events in the DRC that the UDPS is perceived as less of a threat than previously, the guidance given in AB and DM Democratic Republic of Congo CG [2004] UKAIT 00118 and confirmed in MK DRC CG [2006] UKAIT 00001 remains correct.

In TK (Immigration Rules -policy-Article 8) Jamaica [2007] UKAIT 00025, the Tribunal held that even if an appellant's case fell within the spirit of a particular provision of the Rules, her case does not thereby become a wholly exceptional one, for the purposes of Article 8, although it will be one factor to consider in deciding whether the immigration decision, if implemented, would involve a violation of her article 8 rights. Where her case falls within the ambit of another provision of the Rules, but she is unable to meet its requirements, the weight to be given to that factor is likely to be limited. The Tribunal's interpretation is thus less generous than that of the higher courts, see in particular R (Tozlukaya) v SSHD [2006] EWCA Civ 379, Shkembi v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] EWCA Civ 1592, Miao v SSHD [2006] EWCA Civ 75.

SIAC

Omar Othman (aka Abu Qatada) v Secretary of State for the Home Department SC15/2005: SIAC held that despite the climate of impunity and the real risk of torture or ill-treatment for ordinary Islamist extremists in Jordan, the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding between Jordan and the United Kingdom, together with the very high profile of the appellant made such a risk remote in his case.

Commentaries/reports

They are Children Too: a new report on the treatment of children in the immigration and asylum system is out from the Institute of Race Relations, 020 7837 0041, email info@irr.co.uk. Check the website: www.irr.org.uk for further details.

"Free" Advice from Specialist Immigration Counsel

For the period 1 January 2007 to 30 March 2007, solicitors firms or advice agencies which have LSC Contracts (or are LSC Quality Mark holders) will be able to seek and obtain written advice from counsel on Immigration cases without having to first call the Garden Court Chambers Call Counsel advice line. More info

 

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