Issue 7 - 27th March 2006

Monday 27 March 2006

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Government and Parliament

The Asylum Support (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI. 2006/733) which can be found by Clicking Here amend regulation 10 of the Asylum Support Regulations 2000 (SI. 2000/704) so as to amend the amounts that are to be paid by the National Asylum Support Service, as a general rule, to supported persons and their dependants in respect of their essential living needs (i.e. their subsistence support). These increases are made annually in line with the Department for Work and Pensions' annual increase in Income Support payments which this year comes into effect on 10th April 2006.

 

The World

The Guardian reported that advocates for the rights of immigrants more than 500,000 strong marched in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, demanding that Congress abandon attempts to make illegal immigration a felony and to build more walls along the border - for more info Click Here

Case law

In the Court of Appeal in Ahmed v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 300 (2nd March 2006) Buxton LJ ruled that the Practice Directions governing and reconsideration hearings, and Commencement Order No 5, both suggested that a second immigration judge can hear evidence and can go behind previous credibility findings unless the true basis for remittal was more limited - in which case it should be so expressed in very clear terms.

In Ismael v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 275 (23rd February, 2006) Kay LJ gave permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal not due to the prospects of success in the appeal, but because of procedural concerns held by the Court given that at the time of the reconsideration hearing neither the appellant nor her advisers knew of the contents of the reconsideration reasons and therefore could not have had an informed insight as to precisely what had been found to be erroneous and what had not.

Dismissing an asylum seeker's appeal in Karimi v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 263 (30 January 2006), Brooke LJ warned that nothing in the Court of Appeal's judgment should be taken to devalue the central messages contained in the very important research conducted between November 1997 and June 1999 on behalf of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association in their June 1999 report, entitled "Breaking down the barriers", which had revealed some serious deficiencies in the process of interviewing asylum seekers at the port of entry, including Heathrow, and was commended by Judge Pearl, then President of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal, as a blueprint for higher standards of decision-making.

In the Court of Appeal in BN (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] EWCA Civ 1830 (20 December 2005) the judges were critical of the Tribunal for requiring a surfeit of verification of letters from the Movement of Democratic Change, and for distorting its findings by concentrating excessively upon whether an individual was an activist or member of the party.

In a judicial review in the Administrative Court in R (Adeli) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWHC 474 (Admin) (16 March 2006), McCombe J held that given many litigants before the Tribunal will have limited recourse to legal representation and will be relative strangers to this country, and hence it cannot be right that they would have been expected to comb through difficult legal reasoning to determine the results of their cases. Hence where the Tribunal had dismissed a Home Office appeal on human rights and asylum grounds, notwithstanding that a close reading of its reasoning on asylum grounds suggested it may have resolved that matter against the asylum seeker, only the final order on the appeal would be taken to be its determination: thus the Claimant should be afforded refugee status.

Gray J in the Federal Court of Australia in VWYJ v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs [2006] FCAFC 1 (16 March 2006) referred to interesting arguments arising from the claim for asylum of a citizen of Lebanon, an officer in the Lebanese Christian Phalange Militia said to have been involved in the massacre of civilians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in 1982. The Court left open the question as to whether it would be wrong to determine whether such actions involved a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity, by referring to the international instruments (the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the statutes of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda respectively) coming into effect well after the massacre in 1982.

Immigration law seminars

Garden Court Chambers' seminars

  • 30th May 06 - Crime and immigration seminar - A free evening seminar - 6.30pm - 8pm - 1.5 cpd hours .
  • 29th June 06 - Labour and businesss migration: the UK and EU law and practice - A free afternoon seminar - 2 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. - 4 cpd hours

Click here for futher information and to book your place.

Other seminar and training providers

ILPA training:

  • Immigration Aspects of the Civil Partnership Act 2004, 28 March, 4.00-7.15 at St Bride's House. 3 CPD points.
  • Training on the European Citizen's Directive: London 2 May.

For details of ILPA Training contact ILPA on 0207 251 8383 - or Click Here for their website

JCWI Training The laws governing working in the UK - (11 April 2006) 10am - 1.00pm (CPD: 2.5 hours): A course to give detailed knowledge of the laws and procedures governing coming to or staying in the UK to work. Basic knowledge and experience of the work permit system is expected. Call 0207251 8708 to book.

HJT Training - Challenging the AIT: Monday, 10 April 2006 - 1600 to 1900 - Drafting grounds with a good prospect of success in obtaining reconsideration, procedures and fresh evidence in the AIT. Call 0208 303 3013 to book.

Events

From Monday 27 March - Wednesday 29 March 2006 Iranian asylum seekers will be holding an anti-deportation protest in front of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London, for more info Click Here

Reminders

Extradition, Deportation and Rendition: Protecting rights across the border: a one-day conference organised by JUSTICE and Sweet & Maxwell. 31 March 2006. £325 + VAT (£295 + VAT for JUSTICE members).For further info Click Here

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