2015 03 Migrants

Wednesday 1 April 2015

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In Blakesley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWCA Civ 141 (Jackson, Kitchin and Floyd LLJ) the Court of Appeal considered whether article 23 of the Geneva Convention requires the UK government to make a retrospective payment of ‘public relief’ to successful asylum seekers representing the difference between previous asylum support and mainstream benefits. The Court concluded that while successful asylum seekers are to be paid the same welfare benefits as UK citizens from the date their refugee status is established, article 23 did not have any retrospective effect. Consequently, the former statutory regime which provided backdated payments of income support to persons who were found to be refugees went further than article 23 of the Geneva Convention required. Click here for the judgment. For further details see article by Desmond Rutledge on Free Movement - Backdating welfare benefits payments to those recognised as refugees in the UK

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