The Home Office have announced that they want to radically simplify the law, rules and guidance relating to immigration. Subject to the Parliamentary timetable, they hope to introduce new primary legislation in 2008, whilst at the same time, to develop plans for reform of the complicated system of rules, regulations and operational instructions which currently supplement the statutory provisions. A consultation process is now under way. More info
The British Embassy in Harare announced that changes to the their visa service which will be introduced in Zimbabwe in July 2007, such that from the end of July, the majority of visa applications lodged in Zimbabwe will be processed by entry clearance officers based in Pretoria. More info
The Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 (Commencement No. 7 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2007 brings into force section 12 of that statute http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/40019--a.htm#12 regarding refugees and the back-dating of their benefits, from 14 June 2007, and hence ceasing the effect of section 123 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (c. 33) More info
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In NS (Iraq: perceived collaborator: relocation) Iraq CG  UKAIT 00046 (12 April 2007) the Tribunal found that an Iraqi who is perceived as a collaborator as a consequence of his work for the UN, an NGO, the Multi-National Force, the Coalition Provisional Authority or a foreign contractor, and who has attracted the hostility of an armed group, faces a real risk of persecution on return to his home area. Ability to relocate in Iraq to an area other than the KRG for such a person would depend on the circumstances of the case, including such matters as the reach of the group which has targeted him. Given the kind of hit lists and information networks that exist, as well as the number of illegal checkpoints, a person with a well founded fear of persecution would usually be able also to cross the threshold of showing an absence of internal relocation options. Relocation to the KRG for any Iraqi is in general only feasible if the person concerned would be allowed to enter and legally reside in the area of relocation, and has family, community and/or political links there enabling them to survive. Read the transcript
In FK (SDF member/activist, risk) Cameroon CG  UKAIT 00047 (21 May 2007) the Tribunal gave the first (and welcome) application of one of the new provisions of the immigration rules that domestically transpose the Refugee Qualification Directive. They held that in the light of the provisions of paragraph 339K of HC 395 which lay down that the fact that a person has already been subject to persecution or serious harm should be regarded as a serious indication of a risk of its repetition unless there are good reasons to the contrary, the fact that certain events took place a long time ago and were instigated by one influential member of the ruling party who would now be unlikely to have any adverse interest in the appellant did not prevent that provision operating in the Appellant's failure where the country of origin evidence showed that serious human rights abuses are continuing to take place. Besides this, they found that membership of, involvement or perceived involvement in the SDF at any level is unlikely by itself to amount to give rise to a risk of persecution or ill-treatment, albeit that some prominent active opponents of the government may, depending on their own particular profile and circumstances, continue to be at real risk of persecution. Read the transcript
In a permission application in MJ (Sudan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 530 (17 May 2007), the Court of Appeal found that where an application for permission to appeal was soundly based, it would be manifestly wrong for the appellant's human rights to be denied because of delay for which he was personally blameless, as where delays ensued from the fact that a firm was no longer doing legal aid work in immigration law. Read the transcript
In U v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSIAC 32/2005 (14 May 2007) the Special Immigration Appeals Commission found that Algeria is making a sincere, broadly supported and generally successful attempt to transform itself from a war-torn authoritarian state to a normally functioning civil society, and that solemn diplomatic assurances given by the Algerian State to the British Government about individual deportees are reliable and can safely be accepted. They also found that there was no general risk of serious human rights breaches regarding prison conditions, fair trial, or torture there. Read the transcript
In Sihali v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSIAC 38/2005 (14 May 2007) the Special Immigration Appeals Commission found that the general proposition that national security demanded the removal of an individual who was not, nor is, a committed terrorist or even committed Islamist extremist, but who had provided active, if undiscriminating, assistance to terrorists in the past, on the grounds that they might repeat their activities in the future with a similar lack of discrimination, was not tenable.
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In Ibrahim Güllü v. Turkey (no. 60853/00) the European Court of Human Rights found that the Turkish national security court which had tried the Claimant in 1999 had not been an "independent and impartial tribunal" on account of the presence of a military judge on the bench. More info
On 4th July ILPA are running a course on student applications under the current Immigration Rules at the London City YMCA.
On 9th July HJT Training and Murray Stables will be jointly hosting a Conference on Current Issues in Asylum, Human Rights, Immigration and EU Law, at the Faculty of Advocates, Mackenzie Building, High Street, Edinburgh.