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Asylum seekers can rely on Article 8 grounds in exceptional circumstances

Secretary of State for the Home Department v United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [2016] EWCA Civ 810

Four asylum seekers (one disabled adult and three unaccompanied children) were situated in the temporary refugee camp in Calais since October 2015.  They were trying to join their siblings in the UK. The French processing system would lead to considerable delays and conditions were inadequate.  The Upper Tribunal ordered the Home Secretary to admit all four respondents under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.  The Secretary of State appealed the matter.

Regulation 60/2013 (Dublin III) contains the EU wide system for determining which Member State is responsible for processing an asylum application.  An asylum seeker must apply to the country in which they are located and that country determines which Member State is responsible.  If an unaccompanied minor has family in another Member State, the application is passed to that country.  However, the asylum seekers would have to wait for the French system to process their application and delays are 202 days on average.  Unaccompanied minors often become untraceable during that time.

The Upper Tribunal decided that the four respondents should be allowed to enter the UK even though they did not apply the Dublin III processes.  The Court of Appeal concluded that the Dublin III regime was an important factor and only in exceptional circumstances should an Article 8 ECHR claim succeed in the absence of an application under the Dublin III regime.

Read UK Human Rights Law Blog article here.

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Immigration & Asylum