News & Views Monday 11th April to Sunday 17th April 2016  

Germany Unveils Integration Law For Refugees

Germany has announced new legal measures requiring migrants and refugees to integrate into society in return for being allowed to live and work in the country. Under the coalition government’s measures, announced on Thursday morning, asylum seekers face cuts to support if they reject mandatory integration measures such as language classes or lessons in German laws or cultural basics. According to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the aim of Germany’s first ever integration law is to make it easier for asylum seekers to gain access to the German labour market, with the government promising 100,000 new “working opportunities”, expected to include low-paid workfare jobs.
Read more: Guardian, 14/04/2016

EU Family Member Wins Damages for Unlawful Detention and Breach of EU Law

 In the case of R (on the application of Santos) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 609 (Admin) the court awarded an appellant a significant sum of damages for both unlawful detention and breach of EU law. To understand the nature of the damages awarded it is necessary to first look at the facts. The Claimant Mr Santos, is a Brazilian national, who came to the UK in 2002 with entry clearance as a visitor. Following the expiry of his visit visa he remained in the UK unlawfully. In November 2008 Mr Santos met his future spouse, Ms Batista, who is a Portuguese national. The couple married on 30 April 2010.

 On 19 July 2010 Mr Santos applied for an EEA residence card on the basis of his marriage to Ms Batista, as an EU national. In October 2010 the relationship subsequently broke down. Following the breakdown of his relationship the Secretary of State for the Home Department ("SSHD") indicated Mr Santos had provided insufficient evidence for his application. The SSHD did not make a decision on the EEA residence card application and therefore no appeal right was triggered. The SSHD had though misunderstood what documents were required, stating that the original passport of the EEA national was required when in fact only the original passport of the applicant was required, which had been provided.

Read more: Gherson Solicitors, 13/04/2016

Immigration Lawyer Who Takes the Cases No One Wants

There have already been seven immigration bills in the last eight years and 45,000 changes to the immigration rules since Theresa May became home secretary in 2010.

Two or three times a month, Tom Giles says goodbye to his wife and three children at their home in Abingdon, and drives north, through Oxfordshire, to Campsfield House immigration detention centre. It is nearly 9am by the time Giles, a slight man with a gap between his teeth and a bright-eyed, youthful energy, presents himself at security. He places everything but a notebook and a pen in a locker, then is led through a series of locked doors to a small high-windowed room along a corridor lined with similarly small high-windowed rooms. He sits down at a desk, checks the handsets in front of him, finds a blank page in his notebook, and waits for his first client.

Over the next five hours, Giles sees a series of detainees for up to 30 minutes each. The men often wear standard-issue blue tracksuits and flip-flops because they were apprehended in the street and served with deportation orders, or taken from their homes at dawn and not allowed to pack their clothes, or arrived at a port with nothing. Some of them came to the UK to study and overstayed, others have lived and worked here for years. Others, exhausted after arduous journeys from Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya or Iraq, have been here for a few days. Giles’s job, as a legal aid immigration solicitor, is to work out if a person has a legal right to stay in the UK, and if so, to try his hardest to make that possible – in a legal environment that is becoming more hostile by the day.

Read more: Aida Edemariam, Guardian, 13/04/2016

Refugees: 4,388 Deaths in Mediterranean and Aegean Seas

Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their best estimate of the number of refugees who have perished in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas since 1 January 2015.

The Earl of Courtown (Con): My Lords, according to UNHCR and IOM figures, 4,388 people tragically died between 1 January 2015 and 1 April 2016. In 2016, up to 1 April, the death toll was 617. Since the crisis began, UK ships have saved more than 17,500 lives. We continue our work to stop migrants falling victim to smuggling and putting their lives at risk.

Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon (LD): My Lords, the whole House knows that the Minister is a very decent man, but does he feel any shame at all for the fact that Britain offered no hope of refuge to any one of those who died seeking to escape death? Is it not the case that the figure of drowned and missing now amounts to some 7,000, of which about 60% are said to be women and children? The fig-leaf the Government use to hide their discreditable policy is that to offer hope of refuge to those who risk death in attempting to escape death is to tempt more to come. If 7,000 or so dying has not discouraged them so far, how many will?
House of Lords Debates, 11/04/2016

Immigration Officers Allowed to Hack Phones of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Immigration officials have been permitted to hack the phones of refugees and asylum seekers, including rape and torture victims, for the past three years. The revelation has sparked outrage among civil rights groups and campaigners for rape victims, who said that it was distressing that the British government had rolled out powers that could target some of the most vulnerable individuals in society. The Home Office confirmed to the Observer that since 2013 immigration officials have been granted the power to “property interference, including interference with equipment”, which can include planting a listening device in a home, car or detention centre, as well as hacking into phones or computers. Critics fear the powers could undermine lawyer-client confidentiality in sensitive immigration and asylum cases.
The power was authorised through an amendment to the Police Act 1997, prompting campaigners to warn that intrusive technological powers are being regulated by outdated legislation. Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “For far too long, vague and outdated legislation has been exploited to extend the Home Office’s powers. No parliamentarian would have ever foreseen immigration officers having the powers to hack into our smartphones and computers of potentially quite vulnerable people.” Silkie Carlo, of the rights group Liberty, said: “The entirely new power of routine communication interception at removal centres is a blatantly discriminatory move.”
Read more: Mark Townsend, Observer, 10/04/2016

Persistent Offending:

[1. The question whether the appellant "is a persistent offender" is a question of mixed fact and law and falls to be determined by the Tribunal as at the date of the hearing before it.

2.The phrase "persistent offender" in s.117D(2)(c) of the 2002 Act must mean the same thing as "persistent offender" in paragraph 398(c) of the Immigration Rules.

3.  A "persistent offender" is someone who keeps on breaking the law. That does not mean, however, that he has to keep on offending until the date of the relevant decision or that the continuity of the offending cannot be broken. A "persistent offender" is not a permanent status that can never be lost once it is acquired, but an individual can be regarded as a "persistent offender" for the purpose of the Rules and the 2002 Act even though he may not have offended for some time. The question whether he fits that description will depend on the overall picture and pattern of his offending over his entire offending history up to that date. Each case will turn on its own facts.]

Tukhas (para 245HD(f): "Appropriate Salary") [2016] UKUT 183 (IAC)

[Headnote: The effect of paragraph 14 of Appendix J to the Immigration Rules is that other than where an applicant has contracted weekly hours or is paid an hourly rate, the appropriate salary for the purposes of paragraph 79 of Appendix A is an applicant's gross annual salary paid by the sponsor employer, subject to the conditions set out in paragraphs 79(i)-(iii) of Appendix A.]

Notice of Decision

The decision of the First-tier Tribunal contains an error on a point of law capable of affecting the outcome of the appeal and is set aside.

We re-make the decision allowing the appellant's appeal on the ground that the Secretary of State's decision was not in accordance with the Immigration Rules.

Published on Bailii, 14/04/2016

Cudjoe (Proxy marriages: burden of proof) [2016] UKUT 180 (IAC)

[Head note:
1. It will be for an appellant to prove that their proxy marriage was in accordance with the laws of the country in which it took place, and that both parties were free to marry. The burden of proof may be discharged by production of a marriage certificate issued by a competent authority of the country in which the marriage took place, and reliance upon the statutory presumption of validity consequent to such production. The reliability of marriage certificates and issuance by a competent authority are matters for an appellant to prove.

2. The means of proving that a proxy marriage was contracted according to the laws of the country in which it took place is not limited to the production of a marriage certificate, as is recognised in Kareem (Proxy marriages - EU law) [2014] UKUT 24 (IAC).

3. In cases where a divorce has taken place prior to the proxy marriage and there is an issue as to whether the parties were free to marry, it is for an appellant to show that the dissolution of the previous marriage was in accordance with the laws of the country in which it occurred.]

BJ (Singh explained) Sri Lanka [2016] UKUT 184 (IAC) (18 March 2016)

[Head note: Singh (No immigration decision - jurisdiction) [2013] UKUT 440 (IAC) is authority for proposition that the First-tier Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear an appeal only where there has been an immigration decision. It is not authority for the proposition that where an immigration decision has been made the First-tier Tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear an appeal against such decision unless the SSHD has first complied with her obligations under the Immigration (Notices) Regulations 2003.]

R (on the application of B) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Rule 33A JR amendments and transfers) IJR [2016] UKUT 182 (IAC)

[Head note:
(i) Neither s.18, nor any other provision in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 ("the 2007 Act"), nor any provision in the Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008 gives the Upper Tribunal a discretionary power to transfer to the High Court a case which has been begun in the Upper Tribunal. Where a case has been transferred to the Upper Tribunal, it is only in circumstances bringing the case within rule 33A(3)(b) that a discretionary power to transfer the case back to the High Court will arise.

(ii) Section 18(11) of the 2007 Act contemplates that Tribunal Procedure Rules should provide for the making of amendments to judicial review proceedings in the Upper Tribunal which would have the effect that, once made, the application would be required to be transferred to the High Court. Rule 33A does this by expressly giving the tribunal control over the making of such amendments, and it ensures also that the tribunal controls whether there can be reliance on additional grounds which would have the same effect.]

4.                   The present case is a claim for judicial review begun in the Upper Tribunal. It concerns the entitlement of the respondent Secretary of State for the Home Department to return the applicant asylum-seeker to Malta under the Dublin III Convention. That convention is now embodied in EU law: see Regulation (EU) 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (recast), which I shall refer to as "the recast Regulation".

H. Conclusion

74.               The statutory provisions governing the Upper Tribunal's judicial review functions are less complex than they once were. It remains the case, however, that they are not straightforward. Moreover, the directions specifying classes of case are now significantly more complex than previously.
75.               Consideration of the statutory provisions, and of Upper Tribunal rule 33A, in the present case has ensured that an over-hasty agreed proposal for transfer to the High Court has not taken effect. Practitioners must in future give careful consideration to those provisions and to relevant rules so as to ensure that they are deployed in furtherance of the legislative objectives and in a manner consistent with the overriding objective found in Upper Tribunal rule 2.

Published on Bailii, 15/04/2016

Home Office Subjects Asylum Seeker to Nine-Day 407-Mile Detour Across UK

An asylum seeker who was released from detention was subjected to an extraordinary nine-day, 407-mile detour by the Home Office costing at least £5,000 to the taxpayer before being returned to his accommodation 22 miles from the original detention centre.  His lawyers say that as a survivor of torture he should never have been detained in the first place and that the whole bizarre 48-day episode could have been avoided. Mohamed Ahmed, a 34-year-old asylum seeker from Darfur in Sudan, says he was tortured by the Omar al-Bashir regime and that his extensive torture scars have been confirmed in an independent medical report. His ordeal began on 15 February when he attended a Home Office reporting centre in London Bridge for a routine monthly reporting session. He was arrested and detained at Heathrow immigration removal centre because his removal from the UK was imminent. Yet the Home Office issued neither removal directions nor a plane ticket.
Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, 13/04/2016

Fourfold Rise as 95,000 Unaccompanied Children Claim Asylum in Europe in 2015

At least 95,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in Europe last year, four times the numbers for 2014, Bureau research can reveal. The huge increase was discovered by the Bureau during an investigation into the level of migration among unaccompanied under-18 year olds in Europe and the stark inconsistencies in the way they are treated. From approaching 29 different governments for statistics, we found at least 95,070 applied for asylum in Europe in 2015, up from 23,572 in 2014. It is the first time any concrete figure has been reported for the actual scale of migration among unaccompanied minors during last year’s refugee crisis An estimate was given by Save the Children in January when the charity suggested 26,000 unaccompanied children arrived in Europe in 2015. Only 17 of the 29 countries we approached provided any data. Spain refused to cooperate with us, while France said we must wait for publication of official data later this year. Eurostat, the EU data agency, will also complete its own figures in the coming months. We also found huge differences in the way the children are treated by national authorities, with some using controversial methods such as wrist bone x-rays to determine age. The numbers raise serious questions, not only for the ability of countries to cope with the influx, but also around the children’s welfare and their uncertain future.
Source: Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 11/04/2016

Z, Re (Recognition of Foreign Order) (rev 1) [2016] EWHC 784 (Fam) (08 April 2016)

This judgment considers the exercise of the court's powers under the inherent jurisdiction to recognise and enforce orders concerning the medical treatment of children made by courts of another member state of the European Union.
· On 4 March 2016, I made an interim order in respect of a girl, Z, who lives in the Republic of Ireland, declaring that orders made by the High Court of Ireland on 2 March 2016 should stand as orders of this court, thereby permitting emergency admission for treatment in a hospital in this country. At a hearing on is notice on 23rd March, I made a further interim order to that effect. This judgment set out the reasons for those orders.

Asylum: Children Ministerial Corrections

Source Hansard: 01/04/2016 pages 89 through 93

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many young people aged between 18 and 25 who applied for asylum as unaccompanied children were served with removal directions in each year from 2010 to 2014.

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 26 November 2015. The correct answer should have been:

Wrong figures
Removal Directions Served                Number Of Cases
2010                                                                306
2011                                                                478
2012                                                                327
2013                                                                330
2014                                                                245

Correct figures
Removal Directions Served in                        Number Of Cases
2010                                                                697
2011                                                                768
2012                                                                543
2013                                                                508
2014                                                                324

This is provisional management information that is subject to change. It has not
been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.

The figures in the below table detail the number of certified decisions made on cases involving unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the last 5 years. The figure for 2015 is correct up to 30 June 2015. In cases where a certification decision on an asylum and human rights claim was made, consideration would also have been given to whether it was appropriate to grant leave in accordance with the policy on asylum applications from unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Certification Decision Made                                        No Of Cases
2010                                                                                        27
2011                                                                                        9
2012                                                                                        10
2013                                                                                        18
2014                                                                                        87
2015                                                                                        85

Decision Made                                                             Number Of Cases
2010                                                                            26
2011                                                                            9
2012                                                                            11
2013                                                                            20
2014                                                                            90
2015                                                                            85

This is provisional management information that is subject to change. It has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.


The figures in the below table detail the number of former unaccompanied asylum seeking children who were either removed from the United Kingdom or departed voluntarily in each year between 2010 and 2015. The figure for 2015 is correct up to 30 June 2015.

Year of Asylum Application      Voluntary Departure  Enforced Removal
2010                                                    40                                65
2011                                                    28                                38
2012                                                    15                                35
2013                                                    11                               44
2014                                                    0                                  15
2015                                                    0                                 0

Year of Asylum Application      Voluntary Departure     Enforced Removal
2010                                                    48                                            77
2011                                                    28                                           42
2012                                                    18                                            36
2013                                                    11                                            44
2014                                                    0                                             15
2015                                                    0                                             0

This is provisional management information that is subject to change. It has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.


The figures in the below table detail the number of former unaccompanied asylum seeking children who had their asylum claim certified and were aged between 18 and 25 when they were removed from the United Kingdom in each year between 2010 and 2015.

Removals                    No Of Cases
2010                                        1
2011                                        5
2012                                        3
2013                                        5
2014                                        13
2015                                        22

Removed in                 Number Of Cases
2010                                        3
2011                                        7
2012                                        8
2013                                        6
2014                                        14
2015                                        22

This is provisional management information that is subject to change. It has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.


In the last five years, there has only been one case in which a former unaccompanied asylum seeking child had their claim for asylum certified and later lodged an out of country appeal against this decision. In this case the out of country appeal was dismissed.


The figures in the below table detail how many former unaccompanied asylum seeking children, whose claim for asylum was certified by the Home Office, have been removed from the United Kingdom in each of the last 5 years. The figure for 2015 is correct up to 30 June 2015.

Removals                    No of Cases
2010                                        2
2011                                        7
2012                                        3
2013                                        6
2014                                        13
2015                                        22

Removed In                Number Of Cases
2010                                        9
2011                                        11
2012                                        13
2013                                        11
2014                                        17
2015                                        24
This is provisional management information that is subject to change. It has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.

The figures in the below table detail the number of persons who initially claimed asylum
as unaccompanied children and who applied to extend or vary their leave in each year
between 2010 and 2015. The figure for 2015 is correct up to 30 June 2015.

Year Decision Made         Applications to Vary or Extend Leave No of Cases
2010                                                                                                    688
2011                                                                                                    689
2012                                                                                                    653
2013                                                                                                    519
2014                                                                                                    836
2015                                                                                                    696
Total 4081

This is provisional management information that is subject to change. It has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.

R (on the application of Onowu) v First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (extension of time for appealing: principles) IJR [2016] UKUT 185 (IAC)

 [Head Note: In considering whether to exercise discretion to extend time for seeking permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal, both the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal should apply the approach commended by the Court of Appeal in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1537; Denton v White [2014] EWCA Civ 906 and R (Hysaj) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1663.]

Last updated 15 April, 2016