Permission granted for judicial review of Home Office decision to refuse and certify Albanian “blood feud” asylum claims

Friday 22 March 2024

Our Steven Galliver-Andrew of the Garden Court Public Law and Immigration Teams acted for the claimant, instructed by Stuart Luke of Luke & Bridger Law.  

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The Court has granted permission in an application for judicial review of a decision to refuse and certify an Albanian “blood feud” asylum claims under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. The Secretary of State holds powers to be able to swiftly refuse and certify asylum applicants who raise these grounds, followed by detention and removal, in circumstances where individuals may be at risk of persecution or serious harm.

In its reasons for granting permission, the Court recognised the ambiguity of fact and law that blood feud asylum claims can raise:

"It is arguable that the certification is irrational, given the state of the country guidance case-law and the country information […]. The overall legal and evidential landscape discloses a mixed topography.”

David Neale, Legal Researcher at Garden Court Chambers, has written extensively about Albanian asylum claims and the state of affairs in Albania. His review of the Country Policy and Information Notes (CPINs) highlights how objective evidence pertaining to blood feuds and risk of trafficking and modern slavery in Albania is arguably at odds with Home Office CPINs on the matter.

The permission decision follows on from judicial review proceedings in R (H) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWHC 2758 (Admin), where our Alex Grigg obtained permission to bring judicial review proceedings of an Albanian blood feud certification in similar circumstances.

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