Detainees - £13.8 million Compensation for Unlawful Detention in 3 Years
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much compensation her Department paid for the unlawful detention of individuals under immigration powers in each of the last three financial years; for what categories of reason such compensation was paid; and how many such payments were made for each such category of reason.
Mr Robert Goodwill: [Holding answer 13 October 2016]:
Our records indicate that over the past 3 financial years (covering 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15), that a total of £13.8 million has been paid out to 573 claimants, as per the below table. All of whom were paid compensation following a period of unlawful detention.
Financial Year 2012/13 £5.0 Million to 195 claiments
Financial Year 2013/14 £4.8 Million to 199 Claiments
Financial Year 2014/15 £4.0 Million to 179 Claiments
House of Commons: 20/10/2016, http://tinyurl.com/zlvpv8l
Children Don't Come Date-Stamped – And That Includes Refugees
The use of dental x-rays to determine the age of child refugees has been repeatedly proposed by ministers and then dropped over the past 15 years. Practical as well as ethical considerations show that the idea cannot work; children are not “date stamped”. Refugees are treated differently if they are under 18, so there has always been a premium on trying to establish beyond doubt the precise age of an asylum seeker; and yet it has proved a “quasi-science” in the same league as measuring skulls to determine ethnicity. Medical opinion is strong on the issue. As the Royal College of Paediatricians, the British Medical Association and Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health have all pointed out, the tests are not accurate. Prof Tim Cole, of Great Ormond Street, said: “If you test children around the age of 18, or three years either side, in this way, the results get one-third of the ages wrong. When people are much older, say 30 or 40, it can be a lot more accurate. But if you think of puberty and what different rates children develop at, you can see how wrong these tests can be.”
Read more: Alan Travis, Guardian, http://tinyurl.com/j522sjg
AJ (Zimbabwe) and VH (Vietnam) – Deportation Orders Restored
SSHD v AJ (Zimbabwe) and VH (Vietnam)  EWCA Civ 1012 (20/10/2016)
1. These two appeals were heard together. They share the following common features: each concerned a foreign criminal sentenced to between 12 months' and four years' imprisonment for criminal offences and then made subject to a deportation order by the Secretary of State; in each case the deportee successfully appealed on article 8 ECHR grounds to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT); in each case the principal basis of the FTT decision was that deportation would be a disproportionate interference with family life because it would have a significant detrimental effect upon the children of the deported criminal which outweighed the very powerful public interest in deporting foreign criminals and constituted "exceptional circumstances" within the meaning of rule 398 of the Immigration Rules; and in each case a further appeal by the Secretary of State to the Upper Tribunal (UT) failed on the grounds that the decision reached by the FTT displayed no misdirection in law and was an assessment which it could legitimately reach on the evidence.
2.The Secretary of State appeals against both UT decisions, essentially on the same grounds in each case. She submits that the FTT erred either in failing to appreciate quite how exceptional the circumstances must be in order to overcome the great weight which must be given to the public interest in deporting foreign criminals or, if it did properly appreciate that requirement, in making a finding that the circumstances were exceptional when that was not a conclusion open to it on the evidence. She submits that in each case the UT thereafter erred in failing to identify an error of law in the FTT decision.
VH - 33. For these reasons, therefore, I would uphold the appeal. Since in my view it was not open to a tribunal properly directing itself to find a disproportionate interference with article 8, I would not remit the case but would uphold the appeal and restore the deportation order.
AJ - 48. In my judgment if the proper legal test had been applied, the only proper answer is that there were no compelling circumstances in this case which could displace the very heavy weight to be given to the public interest in removing foreign criminals. Accordingly, there is no purpose in remitting the case. I would uphold the appeal and restore the deportation order.
Published on Bailli, http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1012.html
Stop Deportation of People With British Spouses and Children
In what situation is the government permitted to separate husband from wife, father from child, and children from mothers? When did certain people's rights and privilege's suddenly become less significant? How did we get to point where we dehumanize people just so we can achieve a political goal?
We MRCG are campaigning for the parliament to review and stop the UKBA from deporting people from the UK who have British National family members. In this circumstances, these people and indeed their British spouses and children are being denied a fundamental human right. The Right to Family Life.
The UKBA is removing people who have been in the country for a significant amount of time and who have a strong family life by marrying British nationals & fathering British children. This is a breach of human rights laws. In these cases, the sanctity of marriage should be respected & the rights and wellbeing of the children should take precedence. Is the rights, happiness and life of one British more important than that of another because of the color of their skin?
Many families have been separated as government is determined to reduce net migration by any means possible with disregard for the effect it has for the children and the spouses of family members that are left behind. This is creating a massive disadvantage in the ethnic minority community.
Sign our petition http://tinyurl.com/zsmuzof to ensure parliament debate this and pay attention to the plight of all involved.
Source: Minority Report Campaign Group (MRCG)
HD (Trafficked women) Nigeria CG  UKUT 00454 (IAC)
1. he guidance set out in PO (trafficked women) Nigeria  UKAIT 00046 at paragraphs 191-192 should no longer be followed.
2. Although the Government of Nigeria recognises that the trafficking of women, both internally and transnationally, is a significant problem to be addressed, it is not established by the evidence that for women in general in Nigeria there is a real risk of being trafficked.
3. For a woman returning to Nigeria, after having been trafficked to the United Kingdom, there is in general no real risk of retribution or of being trafficked afresh by her original traffickers.
4. Whether a woman returning to Nigeria having previously been trafficked to the United Kingdom faces on return a real risk of being trafficked afresh will require a detailed assessment of her particular and individual characteristics. Factors that will indicate an enhanced risk of being trafficked include, but are not limited to:
a. The absence of a supportive family willing to take her back into the family unit;
b. Visible or discernible characteristics of vulnerability, such as having no social support network to assist her, no or little education or vocational skills, mental health conditions, which may well have been caused by experiences of abuse when originally trafficked, material and financial deprivation such as to mean that she will be living in poverty or in conditions of destitution;
c. The fact that a woman was previously trafficked is likely to mean that she was then identified by the traffickers as someone disclosing characteristics of vulnerability such as to give rise to a real risk of being trafficked. On returning to Nigeria, it is probable that those characteristics of vulnerability will be enhanced further in the absence of factors that suggest otherwise.
5. Factors that indicate a lower risk of being trafficked include, but are not limited to:
a. The availability of a supportive family willing to take the woman back into the family unit;
b. The fact that the woman has acquired skills and experiences since leaving Nigeria that better equip her to have access to a livelihood on return to Nigeria, thus enabling her to provide for herself.
6. There will be little risk of being trafficked if received into a NAPTIP shelter or a shelter provided by an NGO for the time that she is there, but that support is likely to be temporary, possibly for just a few weeks, and there will need to be a careful assessment of the position of the woman when she leaves the shelter.
7. For a woman who does face a real risk of being trafficked if she returns to her home area, the question of whether internal relocation will be available as a safe and reasonable alternative that will not be unduly harsh will require a detailed assessment of her particular circumstances. For a woman who discloses the characteristics of vulnerability described above that are indicative of a real risk of being trafficked, internal relocation is unlikely to be a viable alternative.
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 134
This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 4 October and 17 October 2016.
Download the full report: http://tinyurl.com/z3sj3e6
ARC: West and South Kordofan COI Query Response
This report presents country of origin information (COI) on West andSouth Kordofan up to 15th August 2016 on issues for research identified to be of relevance in refugee status determination for Sudanese nationals. Only COI specific to West and South Kordofan has been included unless otherwise stated. For information on the situation in South Kordofan more generally, see the relevant sections of the ARC publication South Kordofan and Blue Nile Country Report, 1 June 2016, whilst information on the situation in Sudan more generally can be found in the relevant sections of the ARC publication Darfur Country Report, October 2015.
Download the full report: http://tinyurl.com/zcmqluq
FOIA Decision Notice in Favour of ‘No-Deportations’
Freedom of Information Act 2000 - The Home Office - Case Reference Number: FS50642674
Decision notice relating to your complaint about a request for information that you submitted to the above public authority.
1. The complainant requested information regarding detainees refusing food in immigration removal centres. To date he has not received a substantive response.
2. The Commissioner’s decision is that, although it has complied with section 17(1) in stating which exemption is to be relied upon, by failing to complete its public interest test considerations within a reasonable time period the Home Office has breached section 17(3) of the FOIA.
3. The Commissioner also found breaches of sections 1 and 10.
4. The Commissioner requires the Home Office to take the following steps to ensure compliance with the legislation:
· issue a substantive response to the complainant’s request, either disclosing the requested information or issuing a refusal notice which includes the outcome of the public interest considerations.
5. The Home Office must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.
UK Policy to Deport Refugees For 'Extremist Behaviour' Criticised
UK immigration laws permitting refugees to be deported if they exhibit “extremist behaviour” may breach a United Nations convention, the organisation’s general assembly is to be told. In a speech condemning states for exploiting security fears to frustrate their international legal obligation to provide safe havens, the UN official responsible for reporting on counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson QC, will criticise the UK’s record. Emmerson, who recently left his post as counsel to the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, has been the UN’s special rapporteur on “protecting human rights while countering terrorism” since 2011. “The link between displacement of people from their homes and risks to national security in the countries in which they seek refuge has been irresponsibly and misleadingly overblown in many states, with the refugee crisis being used to stoke public fears of terrorism,” he is due to tell the UN session today Friday 21st October 2016.
Read more: Owen Bowcott, Guadian, http://tinyurl.com/jkkm8bn
R (on the application of Johnson) (Appellant) v SSHD (Respondent) – UKSC 2016/0042
On appeal from the Court of Appeal (Civil division) (England and Wales)
Mr Johnson, the appellant, was born in Jamaica in 1985 and moved to the UK aged four. His parents were not married. His father was a British citizen but his mother was not. Under the laws then in force he did not acquire British citizenship at birth. He obtained indefinite leave to remain in the UK in 1992 but he did not apply for permanent citizenship, despite a scheme which had been in place since 1987 that would have allowed him to do so on proof of paternity. In 2006 the law was changed to accord citizenship to illegitimate children with at least one British parent but the change in the law was not retrospective and Mr Johnson could not take advantage of it. In 2008 Mr Johnson was convicted of manslaughter. The Secretary of State for the Home Department, the respondent, issued a deportation order, which Mr Johnson challenged. The High Court found in favour of Mr Johnson. The Secretary of State appealed and the Court of Appeal set aside the High Court’s decision. This appeal considered the circumstances in which the Human Rights Act 1998 can be applied to causative events which occurred prior to its coming into force, but which are alleged to have continuing effect and whether a declaration of incompatibility with the ECHR can, and should be made, in respect of historic legislation (since repealed) which denied automatic British citizenship to illegitimate children with a British father and a non-British mother.
The Supreme Court unanimously allows the appeal, finding that Mr Johnson’s liability to deportation by reason of the accident of his birth outside wedlock is unlawfully discriminatory, in breach of his Convention rights. The consequence is that the certificate granted by the Secretary of State will be quashed and Mr Johnson’s appeal against the decision to deport him will be certain to succeed. The court also makes a declaration that the statutory requirement that a person in Mr Johnson’s position must also be of good character in order to be granted British citizenship is incompatible with Convention rights, pursuant to section 4 HRA.
Download the full judgment: http://tinyurl.com/j3oyn6f
Refugees Successfully Sue German Government Over Partial Asylum Status
More than 17,000 refugees in Germany have sued the government for not giving them full refugee status - and most have won. Since an attempted crackdown on the number of migrants coming to the country earlier this year more and more refugees are being given a qualified form of asylum called as “subsidiary protection” from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Although people with this status are safe from deportation they face several key disadvantages in comparison to those with full refugee status. These include a two-year ban on their families coming to join them and a speed up deportation process for those who are not given a permanent right to remain agreed at the end of January.
Read more: Caroline Mortimer, Independent, http://tinyurl.com/hbx76qo
Half of the World's Disabled Children Are Out of School
"Children with disabilities are constantly left at the very back of the queue, and the impact on both individuals and economies can be disastrous". At least half of the world's 65 million school-age children with disabilities are kept out of the classroom because little to no money is budgeted for their needs, disability rights groups said in a report on Monday 17/10/2016. Light for the World, a charity which supported the research, said stigma and misinformation surrounding disability as well as a lack of data on the numbers of disabled children contributed to the problem. "People don't see them (children with disabilities) as a worthy investment," Nafisa Baboo, adviser for inclusive education at Light for the World, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Many think for example that there's no point investing in their education as people with disabilities can't work." The rights groups said billions of dollars of potential income from the world's poorest countries are being lost through lack of schooling and employment for people who have disabilities. "Children with disabilities are constantly left at the very back of the queue, and the impact on both individuals and economies can be disastrous," Julia McGeown of Handicap International said in a statement.
Read more: Zoe Tabary, Thomson Reuters Foundation http://tinyurl.com/hohwf7b
Chief Constable v S & Ors (FGM)  EWFC B75 (9 February 2016)
- Introduction – The police apply with leave for Female Genital Mutilation (‘FGM’) protection orders in relation to three girls of Somali parents. It is agreed that I should deliver my judgment on their applications in two parts. Having heard the evidence and submissions about the facts of the case I should express my findings as to what has occurred. In the second part of the judgment I should deal with the submissions that I will hear about the terms of the orders that I should make. All parties now accept that I must make some form of orders and there is agreement about the principles of law that I should apply. This is the first part of my judgment, therefore, in which I will include the directions of law.
- The two girls who have been involved in these proceedings from the outset are R and P. Both girls are of primary school age. Their mother is S and their father is W. The girls have a brother. In 2015 the mother gave birth to a baby girl, D, and the proceedings were extended to her; the father of D is H who is the sixth Respondent to these proceedings and who is now married to the mother. All of the children have their home with their mother, originally in a city in the South of England but they now live elsewhere in the United Kingdom. H lives with the mother.
- These proceedings began on 23rd June 2015, a time when the mother was heavily pregnant with D, as an application by the Chief Constable under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court due to fears that the mother was about to remove the two eldest girls to Somalia and cause them to be subjected there to FGM. The mother’s evidence is that none of her daughters have undergone FGM or any other medical procedures relating to their genitalia and that she has no intention that they should do so.
- The police, with the support of W, now seek protection orders under statutory provisions and in terms that I will set out in more detail later. The guardian initially suggested that undertakings from the mother might suffice but now supports the making of orders. The mother, with her husband’s support, offers undertakings not to subject the girls to FGM but, under the skilful guidance of Ms Wiltshire, recognises that the court may well make orders now that the evidence has been heard; she argues for orders that are more limited than those suggested by the police.
- Immigration status - The children are each habitually resident in this country. They each hold British passports.
91. Outcome and second judgment – Following the delivery of the above judgment I heard further submissions. Given the findings that I had made it was plainly necessary, proportionate and lawful that I should make protection orders. The terms of that order were the subject of lengthy and detailed submissions and I gave a short oral judgment about that. In summary I made a wide range of orders directing that the children were to be protected from FGM. Those orders included provision for the surrender of the children’s passports on the basis that I would review that order within the proceedings under The Children Act 1989.
Full transcript: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2016/B75.html
UKHO: CPI Note - Albania: Ethnic Minority Groups
Policy Guidance - Updated: 12 October 2016
1.1 Basis of claim
1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by state or non-state actors due to the person’s membership of an ethnic minority group.
1.2 Points to note
1.2.1 For the purposes of this note, ‘ethnic minority group’ means Roma, Balkan-Egyptians, Aromanians (Vlachs), Gorani, and ethnic Greeks, Macedonians, and Montenegrins.
1.2.2 Where a claim is refused, it must be considered for certification under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 as Albania is listed as a designated state.
Published on Refworld, 14/10/2016