The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Fast Track Procedure) (Amendment) Rules 2008 No. 1089 (L. 8) Rule 4 introduce new powers for combined hearings for related Appellants, empower the Tribunal to consider an appeal without a hearing where the person giving notice of appeal fails to include with the notice of appeal the notice of decision to which the appeal relates, or the Tribunal considers that the reasons for not including it are unsatisfactory, and inserts into Schedule 2 to the Principal Rules an additional immigration reception centre, at Oakington, Cambridgeshire, so that the Fast Track Procedure can apply to a person who is detained at that centre. More info
In AS & DD (Libya) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor  EWCA Civ 289 (09 April 2008) the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of SIAC that whereas Libya would probably keep its word not to torture a returnee, there was a risk that it would not: and that this meant that removing an individual there, even with the benefit of a Memorandum of Understanding, brought with it a real risk of torture. More info
In Othman v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 290 (9 April 2008) Buxton LJ restated the position of the Court of Appeal that it is a matter for the court's judgement whether diplomatic assurances can be relied on in any given case. Where there was a question raised that evidence obtained by torture might be used in the trial of an individual in their country of origin, this was not just an aspect of fair trial but itself a separate question that raised Article 3 issues.
In Rathakrishnan, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 747 (Admin) (11 April 2008) Munby J in the Administrative Court showed that it would be difficult to sustain a fresh claim by a low level activist fearing harm at the hands of the authorities and the LTTE absent demonstration of the factors required by the Country Guidance decisions.
In Nnyanzi v the United Kingdom (Application no. 21878/06) the European Court of Human Rights found that domestic remedies had been exhausted when, according to the reasons given by the IAT, permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal was refused on the basis that the applicant's grounds of appeal did "not disclose any arguable point of law"
In CG and Others v Bulgaria (Application no. 1365/07) the European Court of Human Rights ruled that it can hardly be said, on any reasonable definition of the term, that the unlawful trafficking of narcotic drugs was a matter capable of impinging on the national security of Bulgaria.
Mark Symes, Raza Husain and Samantha Knights will be giving training on internal armed conflict and Article 15(c) of the Refugee Qualification Directive on Wednesday 7 May 2008, see www.ilpa.org.uk for details.