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News & Views Monday 15th June to Sunday 21st June 2015

Cost of Violence Hits $14 Trillion in Increasingly Divided World
The cost of violence around the world reached a record $14.3 trillion in 2014, equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, a global security report said on Wednesday. The divide between the most and least peaceful regions deepened with many Middle Eastern and African countries sinking further into violence, according to research by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). Syria ranked as the least peaceful country in the 2015 Global Peace Index, while Libya saw the most severe deterioration. Iceland remained the most peaceful.

"The (cost of violence) has been largely associated with the increase of deaths in conflict, the ongoing economic consequences of conflicts in the countries where they're occurring and also the increased cost associated with the displaced people."

The cost of supporting refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) has increased by 267 percent since 2008 to $128 billion as the numbers of uprooted people topped 50 million -- the highest level since World War Two.
Read more: Magdalena Mis, Thompson Reuters Foundation, <> 17/06/2015

Asylum Research Consultancy COI Update Volume 104
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications and developments in refugee producing countries between 2nd 2015 and 16th June 2015 - Volume 104  <> here . . .

UKHO CIG: Nigeria: Fear of Boko Haram

1. Introduction

1.1 Basis of Claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution by members of Boko Haram (also known as Islamic State in West Africa but referred to as Boko Haram throughout this document) because of a person's actual or perceived political/religious opposition to the group, and/or because of a person's gender.

1.1.2 That the security and/or humanitarian situation in Nigeria presents a real risk which threatens life or person such that removal would be in breach of Article 15(c) of European Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 ('the Qualification Directive').

Published on Refworld, 16/06/2015

20 Longest Lengths of Detention Q1 2015 all Male detainees

1,789 Days 4.9 Years / 1,300 Days 3.5 Years / 1,273 Days 3.4 Years

1,267 Days 3.4 Years / 1,121 Days 3.07 Years / 1,085 Days 2.9 Years

1,047 Days 2.8 Years / 984 Days 2.6 Years / 973 Days 2.6 Years

951 Days 2.6 Years / 924 Days 2.5 Years / 921 Days 2.5 Years

882 Days 2.4 Years / 868 Days 2.3 Years / 841 Days 2.3 Years

816 Days 2.2 Years / 804 Days 2.2 Years / 781 Days 2.1 Years /

776 Days 2.1 Years / 775 Days 2.1 Years

Source: UKHO Migration Statistics Office

Charter Flights January Through March 2015

Data released by UKHO Immigration Enforcement Returns Logistics

Number of males removed - 593

Number of females removed - 33

Number of escorts - 1214

Number of flights - 11

To which countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Ghana, Kosovo, Nigeria and Pakistan

Number of children - 0

*Magna Carta - Over Long, Technical and Turgid*

"I am a Magna Carta sceptic. I have no problem about the values which the charter is commonly supposed to express. But I have the utmost difficulty in finding them anywhere in the charter. There are no high-flown declarations of principle here. No truths are held to be self-evident. No rights are declared to be inalienable. No claims are made to universal validity. Medieval latinists were perfectly capable of flights of rhetoric, but there aren't any in Magna Carta. The document is long. It is technical. And it is turgid." / Lord Sumption, Lancaster House, 11 June 2015/

In July 1989, the late Margaret Thatcher, who was in Paris to participate in the celebration of the bicentennial of the French Revolution, gave an interview to/ Le Monde/. It was a characteristic performance. She rubbished the whole occasion as well as the historic event which it commemorated. The French Revolution, she declared, had not invented the idea of human rights. We, the English had done that, with Magna Carta nearly seven centuries before. The French version (Déclaration des Droits de l'homme et du Citoyen) was simply a distortion of an ancient idea, a feast of abstract thinking concocted by vain and impractical intellectuals. This version of events is in many ways a travesty. But it is a very English travesty. It embodies two powerful English instincts: a feeling of English exceptionalism especially in matters constitutional; and a deep suspicion of Utopianism, and indeed of all abstract ideas.

The difference between the Charter and the/ Déclaration/ is more than a matter of style. Unlike the/ Déclaration/, Magna Carta was never intended to be a general statement of moral or political, let alone human rights. It was essentially a legal text, which addressed a large number of miscellaneous grievances against the way that King John and his two immediate predecessors had governed England. In particular, it sought to define the feudal obligations associated with the occupation of land, because of the way that the Angevin Kings had exploited the uncertainty about these obligations in order to raise money. Magna Carta may have been an ambitious document for its time, but it is nothing like as ambitious as the/ Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen/. Mrs Thatcher's belief that a purer concept of human rights, undistorted by French intellectualism, could be found in Magna Carta, is really very wide of the mark. Magna Carta is a document for 1215, and not for all time. And it is a document for Englishmen, not for humanity. Indeed, it is not even a document for all Englishmen but only for the small minority who were free, male and relatively rich.
Read the full speech <> here . . . .

Early Day Motion 149: People's Assembly Against Austerity March
That this House notes evidence that the Government's economic strategy of austerity pursued since 2010 has seen a significant transfer of wealth from the least well-off to the more affluent; further notes the policy has had a disproportionately negative impact on the most disadvantaged areas; believes that this has contributed to increased inequality and impoverishment in society; welcomes contributions to the public debate advocating a positive economic alternative; and congratulates the organisation of the People's Assembly Against Austerity march to Parliament Square in London, as well as a simultaneous march in Glasgow, on 20 June, both of which will be a democratic expression of the desire for that alternative.

Sponsors: Burgon, Richard/ Corbyn, Jeremy / Rayner, Angela / Lewis, Clive / Lavery, Ian / Smith, Catherine - House of Commons: 17.06.2015

Early Day Motion 130: Yarl's Wood IRC
That this House notes the work of and problems in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre, and especially the poor treatment of women detainees by Serco; is concerned that despite this, Serco's contract has been renewed; calls on the Home Secretary to reassess the entire detention process so that radical changes to the current system can be made; and urges her to seek alternative solutions to end the practice of detention before deportation.
Sponsor: Osamor, Kate House of Commons: <> 15.06.2015

Early Day Motion 126: Anniversary of Israeli Bombardment of Gaza
That this House recognises that 8 July 2015 will be the first anniversary of the start of the most recent and most devastating Israeli military operation in Gaza and resulted in, according to the UN, more than 2,000 deaths, 1,492 of them civilians and 551 of those, children; notes there has been no meaningful reconstruction of Gaza which saw over 100,000 homes destroyed or severely damaged in last year's conflict, that children in particular have suffered the harshest of conditions and that no action has been taken to challenge the violations of international law as exemplified by the security wall, the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories, or the illegal blockade and separation of Gaza; calls on the Government to intensify its actions within the international community and towards the Israeli government to resolve the humanitarian and political crisis in Palestine; further calls for a more direct and stringent message to the Israeli government that progress on talks to reach a long-term and peaceful solution must be delivered within an agreed time frame; and calls on the Foreign Secretary to prioritise action through the UN Security Council for a meaningful UN resolution in this regard.
Sponsors: Cox, Jo / Durkan, Mark
House of Commons: <>15.06.2015

UKHO Must Release 'Critical' Reports into Privately Run IRCs
Potentially damaging reports into the running of two immigration detention centres by private contractors must be released by the Home Office within weeks, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. The documents will give detailed breakdowns and insight into the running of Harmondsworth, Britain's largest immigration detention centre, and Colnbrook, both near Heathrow in west London. It is believed that this is the first time the reports, which are prepared for Home Office officials each month by the contractors that run Britain's immigration detention facilities, will come to light.

The Home Office fought to prevent their release for more than 10 months after the research group Corporate Watch lodged a freedom of information request. Government officials argued that the documents were confidential and would harm the commercial interests of the contractors Serco and GEO Group if they became public knowledge.
Read more: Kevin Rawlinson, Guardian, <> 15/06/2015

Fast Track Appeals Process 'Ultra Vires' But Judgement Stayed
The High Court has today declared the appeals process for asylum-seekers in detention to be unlawful.  Mr Justice Nicol quashed the procedural rules governing the Detained Fast Track asylum process, under which appeals are processed according to severely truncated timescales.

However, despite this finding the judge nevertheless granted to the Lord Chancellor's request to stay the ruling until his appeal is heard in the Court of Appeal, on the basis that for the order to take effect immediately would be 'inconvenient'.

The judgement would mean that the Home Office would no longer be able to assign asylum-seekers to an accelerated appeals process in detention.  Asylum-seekers would therefore no longer be detained throughout the asylum process simply for claiming asylum.  But until the appeal is heard, asylum-seekers will continue to face an appeals system that has been found 'Ultra Vires' that is unlawful.

Detention Action is considering urgently appealing the order refusing the stay.

Challenge to increase Minimum Income Requirements to Supreme Court

R (on the application of AM (Pakistan)) (AP) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) UKSC 2014/0238
R (on the application of MM (Lebanon)) (AP) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) UKSC 2015/0011
R (on the application of Master AF) (AP) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) UKSC 2015/0014
R (on the application of SJ (Pakistan)) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) UKSC 2015/0024
On appeal from the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) (England and Wales)

The issue in this case is whether an increase in the Minimum Income Requirements ('MIR') for a UK citizen or resident wishing to bring a non-EEA spouse or partner into the UK is in breach of Article 8 ECHR, unlawfully discriminatory and / or irrational. Under previous Immigration Rules, such a couple applying for permission for the non-EEA partner to reside in the UK had to demonstrate that they could maintain themselves adequately without recourse to public funds. From 9 July 2012 new MIR were introduced whereby the UK partner must have a gross annual income of at least £18,600. The appellants challenge the lawfulness of the MIR. AM and SJ are British citizens who cannot meet the MIR in order to bring their non-EEA spouses to the UK. MM is a refugee resident in the UK who is similarly unable to satisfy the MIR. AF is MM's nephew. At first instance Blake J held that the MIR constituted an unjustified interference with affected couples' Article 8 rights. His decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal.
Permission to appeal was granted.

Last updated 19 June, 2015