Category Archives: Asylum

The asylum seekers and migrants who were left to die…

The report by the Council of Europe’s Special Rapporteur Lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea: who is responsible? Is now available to download from the COE website.

1500 migrant deaths in 2011

The report starts by noting that a shocking 1500 migrants are known to have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean in 2011 alone, but focuses on the tragic event in March 2011 which led to the death of 63 out of the 72 migrant passengers.  In summary, a ship left Tripoli in Libya, it was at sea for 2 weeks during which no one came to the aid of the boat despite the logging of a distress call, and despite coming into  contact with other vessels. It drifted back to Libya with only 9 survivors on board. Continue reading

Death by visa?

It’s the anniversary of the uprising in Syria. With the death toll having reached around the 8000 mark, the grim discovery earlier this week of yet more dead children’s bodies, and the apparent planting, by Syrian forces, of landmines to prevent refugee flows out of Syria, one might have hoped for a sufficiently compassionate and humane response from the Coalition – afterall the UK was actively involved in drafting the UDHR which enshrines the the right to seek and enjoy asylum in precisely such circumstances. So what has the Coalition’s response to all of this been?

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‘I don’t feel human…’

The Children’s Society recently published I don’t feel human Experiences of destitution amongst young refugees and migrants. The report looks at the ongoing effects of the policy of enforced destitution originally introduced under the Labour Government. Enforced destitution refers to the withholding/limiting of welfare support  in order to expedite the return of refused asylum seekers to their country of origin which has in turn left thousands of people including children without basic support for indefinite periods of time. Continue reading

Not So Fast Track

The UKBA’s Chief Inspector has issued his latest report Asylum: a thematic inspection of the Detained Fast Track. The report looks at the operation of the Detained Fast track Scheme (DFT). Continue reading

People who should know better

As the rightwing press and political establishment bust a collective blood vessel at yesterday’s ECJ’s ruling that EU Member States should not return asylum seekers back to the first EU Member State in which they seek asylum (in this case Greece) in cases where there is evidence of a systematic failure to respect fundamental human rights, the coverage and the spokespeople involved deserve a bit of examination.

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NS V SSHD – judgment by ECJ

The ECJ has today issued its judgment inthe cases of  C-411/10 NS & Others v SSHD  and C-493/10 M.E. and Others v Refugee Applications Commissioner, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform

The ECJ press release is here. You can see our previous more detailed post  on the AG’s opinion in this case  here. The Grand Chamber has ruled:

1.      The decision adopted by a Member State on the basis of Article 3(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003  (i.e. Dublin II)establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum Continue reading

MA & Ors, R (on the application of) v SSHD

MA & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1446 (01 December 2011


This is an interesting case that could ultimately  have implications for EU wide state practice with regards to unaccompanied asylum seeking children. The case concerned three unconnected, unaccompained minors who had sought asylum in the UK having previously claimed asylum in another Member State in the European Union. Continue reading

Medhanye, R (on the application of) v SSHD – third country returns

Medhanye, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWHC 3012 (Admin) (18 November 2011


The claimant was an Eritrean national who claimed asylum in the UK. Inquries by SSHD revealed that the he had previously claimed asylum in Italy. The Italian authorities had accepted, pursuant to the Dublin II Regulation, that they were responsible for dealing with his asylum application. Continue reading

Stop Charter flight deportations to Sri Lanka

Inflite centre at Stanstead - home to executive jets and people facing an uncertain fate.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 28 September, UKBA are set to remove over 50 Sri Lankan nationals. They are currently being held in several detention centres across the country. Charter Flight PVT 030 is set to leave at 3pm tomorrow from Stanstead Airport with the 50 on board. Continue reading

N.S. v SSHD – Note of the Advocate General’s opinion

Advocate General Trstenjak  has issued  her opinion  in  NS v SSHD.  This is an important and interesting case raising issues about the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR) in the UK, and the use of statutory presumptions about the safety of EU Member States. Of course, as with all AG opinions, the ECJ will be free to accept or reject the opinion in full or in part –  the norm is that such opinions are followed.

Key issues in a nutshell Continue reading

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