News & Views Monday 16th October to Sunday 22nd October 2017  
Supreme Court Judgement on Diplomatic Immunity v Abuse of Domestic Servants

Reyes (Appellant/Cross-Respondent) v Al-Malki and another (Respondent/Cross-Appellant)

On appeal from the Court of Appeal Civil Division (England and Wales)

The issue in this case is whether i) the Employment Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear claims brought by the appellant, under the exception to diplomatic immunity contained in Article 31(1)(c) of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations; and (ii) the respondents were validly served with proceedings.

The appellant was employed as a domestic worker by the respondents, a Saudi Arabian diplomatic agent and his wife. The appellant alleges that she is a victim of trafficking. The appellant brought claims against the respondents, for direct and indirect race discrimination, unlawful deductions from wages (failure to pay the national minimum wage), and breach of the Working Time Regulations. The respondents claim diplomatic immunity. The respondents also contend that they were not validly served with proceedings.

The Supreme Court unanimously allows the appeal and dismisses the cross-appeal. The employment of Ms Reyes to carry out domestic tasks in the residence of Mr and Mrs Al-Malki was not an act in the exercise of the diplomatic functions of the mission. Consequently, neither Mr Al-Malki nor Mrs Al-Malki may rely on residual immunity.

Please see the links below:

Foreign Criminal Wins JR of SSHD decision Over ‘Fresh Asylum Calim

A Gambian “overstayer” who claimed asylum after becoming liable to deportation following a conviction for a drugs-related offence has successfully challenged the Home Secretary’s decision to reject his application for asylum. The petitioner’s original claim that he was a homosexual and that he would be at risk of persecution if deported to the Gambia had been dismissed by an immigration judge, but he submitted a medical report in support of a second application. The Secretary of State for the Home Department found that the further evidence did not amount to a “fresh claim”, but a judge in the Court of Session ruled that the respondent failed to provide adequate reasons for her decision.

Scottish Legal News:

Read the full judgement:

"Women and Children are Going to Die" Because of Refuge Budget Cuts

A new survey shows that women's refuges across England have had their budgets cut by nearly a quarter in the last seven years. One refuge manager warned "women and children are going to die as a result" while another said they were providing just a "bare bones service". Many of the 40 refuge managers surveyed said they were often forced to turn away women with physical disabilities, mental health problems or because they had too many children with them. Many services like child support workers, specialist support for women from ethnic minorities and substance abuse workers have been cut as councils impose Tory cuts. Clare Phillipson, a manager for a refuge in Sunderland, said, “I spent last weekend trying to work out which woman to turn away. “You're thinking is this woman going to die if we turn them away. It's awful."

Read more: Socialist Worker,

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Vol. 157

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 3 October and 16 October 2017.

Download the full report: