Asylum - Home Affairs Committee Contents

2  Asylum decision

Country of Origin information and Country Policy Bulletins

37.  When deciding an asylum claim, country of origin information is considered alongside the information submitted by or on behalf of the applicant. This information is taken from reports prepared by the Home Office's Country of Origin Information Service (COIS), which produces full reports on the top 20 countries of origin for asylum seekers and shorter country profiles for the next 30. Bulletins are occasionally issued on an ad hoc basis for some other countries, depending on demand. Case owners may also use Operational Guidance Notes, which are produced by the Country Specific Litigation Team, not the COIS.

38.  In July 2011, John Vine published the results of an inspection in to the use of Country of Origin Information in asylum applications. Two of the issues which he highlighted in his report were repeatedly raised by our witnesses. When he gave evidence to the Committee, John Vine told us that he had been concerned by the selective use of Country of Origin Information. The inspection team had

found in 13% of the cases that we thought that the caseworkers had been selective in picking out from the COI report the information that would basically help in prosecution. In other words, they were selective in the use of information in order to support the case for refusing asylum.[48]

Caseworkers should always make a fair judgement on the merits of a case. The same point was made by Asylum Aid, Women for Refugee Women, the Refugee Council and the Law Society as an issue.[49] Asylum Aid cited one case in which the case worker quoted independent country of origin information which stated that women in Iraq could gain effective help from a local police station, but omitted the preceding sentence which stated that "women have been sexually assaulted by the police when reporting to a police station."[50]

39.  A further concern repeatedly raised by witnesses was the inconsistency between country of origin information, operational guidance notes and sources of information which case owners might identify for themselves. Ministers are currently reviewing where both the country of origin information service and the country specific litigation team ought to sit following the reintegration of the UK Border Agency's functions in to the Home Office. [51]

40.  The inspection found that the inclusion of country information in country policy papers could mean that case workers might use information selectively in individual decisions based on an overall policy position and could also use the country policy papers as the primary source of country information rather than referring to the country report or other available sources. Case workers in the focus groups run by the Chief Inspector acknowledged that these policy papers were often the first port of call, if not the only one.[52] The Chief Inspector's report notes that there is no consistent co-ordination between the different publications. An updated country report does not automatically result in an updated country policy bulletin or operational guidance note. Examining the Afghanistan operational guidance note, the Chief Inspector noted that there had been four country reports issues on Afghanistan since the operational guidance note had been produced meaning that it was out of date and did not contain significant information which case workers ought to have been aware of when making decisions on asylum applications.

41.  This problem was also highlighted in relation to the country policy bulletins for Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of Congo by our witnesses. Freedom from Torture told us that the current bulletin failed to reflect the evidence identifying risks to certain categories of Tamils produced by NGOs and that it did not acknowledge the evidence that in up to 15 cases the Home Office has granted protection to people who were previously refused protection and returned to Sri Lanka, before then coming back to the UK to allege that they were tortured in Sri Lanka after their return there.[53] Catherine Ramos of Justice First told the Committee that the current Country Policy Bulletin for the Democratic Republic of Congo "contains errors and omissions."[54]

42.  The sporadic nature of Operational Guidance Notes and Country Policy Bulletins, also means they may not contain the most up to date UNHCR guidelines. In December 2012, the UKBA published an updated Country Policy Bulletin on Sri Lanka just one day before the UNHCR produced updated 'Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International Protection Needs of Asylum-Seekers from Sri Lanka'. In July 2013, when ordering the Home Office to amend its Country Policy Bulletin on Sri Lanka, the Upper Tribunal noted that change in the UNHCR guidelines contributed to their decision[55] and that

It is unfortunate (and perhaps surprising) that the Country of Origin Unit was unaware of the imminent UNHCR guidelines which emerged the day after the Policy Bulletin and no adjustment has yet been made to accommodate that.[56]

43.  It is disappointing that the Home Office has to be ordered to amend its Country Policy Bulletin on Sri Lanka by the Upper Tribunal when those changes are based on a UNHCR report of which the Home Office must have been aware. We are concerned that that the previous guidance was published just a day before the UNHCR report which implies at the least a lack of effective communication with the UNHCR. We recommend that in future Home Office Operational Guidance Notes, Country Policy Bulletins and Country of Origin Information reports contain reference to the latest UNHCR publications on the relevant country where appropriate and that the Home Office and UNHCR seek to improve liaison in these matters.

44.  We recommend improved integration of country of origin information provision and the country specific litigation team within the Home Office. Where possible, a particular individual should review all new guidance relating to the same country before it is issued.

Gender-related persecution and gender sensitivity within the asylum system

45.  The difference in the nature of asylum claims made by men and women is noted by the Home Office in guidance entitled 'Gender Issues in the Asylum Claim':

  • Forms of persecution relevant to women are often very different from those experienced by men. They may occur within the family or community as well as at the hands of State actors.
  • Discrimination may amount to persecution in countries where serious legal, cultural or social restrictions are placed upon women.
  • Customs and traditions which are potentially harmful to women may be contrary to the law in some countries but the State may be unable or unwilling to enforce the law, and recourse to protection may be more difficult for women than for men.
  • The availability of internal relocation may be more difficult for women than for men. Great care needs to be taken in assessing its reasonableness on an individual basis.
  • An understanding of the country of origin information relating to the position of women is essential to the effective conduct of interviews and to making correct decisions.[57]

46.  Despite the existence of this guidance, research shows that women are less likely than men to receive a correct initial decision on their asylum claim. In 2011, Asylum Aid examined the files of forty-five women from three different UKBA regions - based in Cardiff, London and Leeds - who claimed asylum between 2007 and 2010. The research analysed the case files and drew on the decisions outlined in the reasons for refusal letters issued to those applicants refused asylum, and the determinations made by immigration judges in the cases of those applicants who appealed the initial decision. The research found that women were too often refused asylum on grounds that were

arbitrary, subjective, and demonstrated limited awareness of the UK's legal obligations under the Refugee Convention. Many of the UKBA's decisions proved to be, in the words of an immigration judge examining one of the cases included in this research, "simply unsustainable", and 50% were overturned when subjected to independent scrutiny in the immigration tribunal.[58]

In its sample, judges reversed the UKBA's credibility findings and accepted the applicant's own account in every successful appeal. Some 42% of refusals issued to women were overturned following an appeal, compared with 22% for men.[59]

47.  Part of the reason for this may be that women generally seek asylum on a different basis to men. The Refugee Convention defines a refugee as:

A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.[60]

When the Refugee Convention was adopted, its primary objective was to address population displacement in Europe following the Second World War. Refugees became principally conceived as male political activists who were persecuted by the State and women and children were regarded as passive dependents.[61] UK Courts have interpreted "persecution" as the combination of serious harm to the applicant and the failure of state protection.[62]

48.  More often than men, women claiming asylum fear persecution by non-state actors such as family or community members in the private sphere. They therefore often have to establish both limbs of the test of persecution—harm plus failure of state protection—independently.[63] Women for Refugee Women who told us that they had found that typically women seeking asylum in UK were "fleeing extremely severe forms of persecution, often gender-related persecution such as rape, sexual violence, forced marriage, forced prostitution and so on."[64]

49.  Debora Singer of Asylum Aid told the Committee that the lack of concrete 'proof' of non-state persecution often causes the case owner to question applicant's credibility as they have to rely on giving oral testimony about their experiences.

What we know about women who have suffered these types of human rights abuses is that the trauma affects their memory, they can't remember everything, there are inconsistencies in their memory, and we know that the shame makes it very difficult to disclose issues; they either do not disclose them or they disclose them late.[65]

Natasha Walter of Women for Refugee Women stated that the issue of credibility wasn't the sole barrier to protection but that in many cases, case owners were guilty of "the trivialisation of gender-related persecution" which had been overturned on appeal because judges seemed "to have more understanding of the nature and impact of gender-related persecution and are less likely to trivialise it in that way and more likely to look again at those risks on return."[66]

50.  We earlier drew attention to the concern that guidance issued by the Home Office was not being used by case owners when determining claims (Para 19). This appears to be the crux of the issue here. Case owners are required to follow Home Office guidelines[67] and if they do not, that can be used as the basis for an allowed appeal.[68] Debora Singer told us that training and guidance has been developed over the years and regularly updated with input from stakeholders. She emphasised that the training and guidance is of a reasonable standard but that it is "not the lack of guidance or training or its content; the problem is that it is not implemented."[69]

51.  Gender is not, in itself, one of the grounds upon which an applicant may claim asylum under the refugee convention, yet it is clear that there are many countries in the world where women do not have access to the same freedoms and opportunities enjoyed by their male counterparts. While this should not automatically qualify someone for asylum, case owners (and the Home Office in general) must improve the treatment of women who have suffered at the hands of members of their families or communities and not been able to access protection from the state. By its very nature, persecution by non-state actors is likely to be far more difficult to prove than persecution by the state and to apply the same probative criteria is both unfair and inappropriate. At a time when the criminal justice system is finally waking up to the needs of victims of domestic and sexual violence, the asylum system should be doing the same.


52.  The decision to refuse asylum claims on the basis of credibility of the applicant has been the basis of criticism of the UK asylum process for almost a decade. Amnesty International and Still Human, Still Here recently published a report entitled 'A question of credibility' which examined the refusal letters and appeal determinations of 50 cases from Syria, Sri Lanka, Iran and Zimbabwe, all countries which have had higher than average appeal overturn rates of initial decisions to refuse asylum in the last two years. The research showed that in 84 per cent of a random sample of cases, a flawed credibility assessment is the primary reason why the UK Border Agency's initial decision to refuse an asylum claim was found to be incorrect by Immigration Judges.[70] Still Human, Still Here cited the poor decision making on the credibility of applicants as the "last big hurdle in improving the quality of decision making," noting that it would require improved guidance and training to correct the current situation.[71]

53.  UNHCR cited a tendency on the part of decision-makers to apply

an inappropriately high burden of proof, resulting in every aspect of an applicant's claim being disbelieved or rejected. Some claims were rejected in their entirety on the basis of only one or two negative credibility findings, without giving in-depth scrutiny to or engaging with each of the material facts of the application.[72]

This was also found to be the case in their January 2011 report 'Unsustainable: the quality of initial decision making in Women's asylum claims.[73] The UK is not alone in this; in a May 2013 report, UNHCR noted that the rejection of asylum claims on the basis of credibility was a common trend across the EU.[74] The report emphasised that the case owner shared the responsibility (with the applicant) of ensuring that all relevant facts were examined before a decision on the asylum claim could be made.[75] The report cited a case which had been reported in the British media in October 2012:

Reportedly, the determining authority rejected an application for protection by an Afghan applicant who claimed that he had formerly worked for the British armed forces as an interpreter in Afghanistan. He also asserted he had been injured in a Taliban attack that had killed a British serviceman and had been threatened with death if he returned to Afghanistan. The application was rejected on the grounds that his asserted identity and employment were not considered credible. The applicant had extensive bodily scarring, which, he asserted, was caused by shrapnel wounds. He had also submitted documentary evidence including photographs of his treatment in a field hospital in Afghanistan, his British Army identity cards as well as references from British army officers. The determining authority concluded that there was no evidence to indicate the cause of the scarring on the applicant's body, that the documentary evidence submitted could have been forged and that the asserted facts were not credible on account of discrepancies in the ID cards. However, a journalist was able to find, within 20 minutes, two independent and reliable sources that were able to confirm the applicant's account. It was reported that the determining authority could have easily verified the asserted material facts and authenticity of documents with the Ministry of Defence and other witnesses (formerly) from the military in the UK.[76]

54.  The research by Amnesty International and Still Human, Still Here found that this was consistent with accounts that they had received from victims of torture. In eight of the cases examined, documentary evidence was submitted to corroborate the claim of torture or to show the after effects of torture prior to the initial decision. This documentary evidence included photographs of injuries or scarring, NHS assessment cards and doctors' letters. In six cases, applicants submitted photographs of their scars to substantiate their claims of torture prior to the initial decision, but these photographs were not accepted as evidence in a single case.[77] Freedom from Torture also stated that the assessment of credibility in asylum claims involving allegations of torture continues to be a significant problem, with too little attention given to the impact of trauma on memory and disclosure, and inadequate weight given to medico-legal evidence documenting torture and addressing these issues.

55.  Freedom from Torture prepares medico-legal reports, commissioned from specialist clinicians. They are based on the standards set out in the UN Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (known as the Istanbul Protocol). Each report is subject to a detailed clinical and legal review process. Freedom from Torture assessed how these reports were treated by UKBA case owners and Immigration Judges in research conducted in 2011 and found that the rate of allowed appeals in cases where UKBA refused asylum claims in which an medico-legal report had been submitted prior to the decision was 69%, compared with the average appeal allowed rate at that time of 28%.[78] This suggests that these reports are simply disregarded by case owners, leading to incorrect decisions being made. This view was supported by Medical Justice, who also produce medico-legal reports for victims of torture.[79]

56.  Incorrect decisions can result in applicants being returned to their country of origin. The Home Office told us that

The Home Office does not remove anyone to a country where there is a real risk that the individual will be tortured, or face other inhumane or degrading treatment.[80]

Despite this, in 2012, twenty-seven people were recognised as refugees or given humanitarian protection by the UK following a previously unsuccessful claim and forcible removal from the UK.[81] On 6 February 2013, UKBA responded to a Freedom of Information request by Freedom from Torture requesting details of Sri Lankan nationals granted protection by the UKBA or Tribunal after previously being refused and removed from the UK.[82] According to the response, there was a total of 15 such cases in the period between May 2009 and September 2012. The Treasury Solicitor's Department has since clarified that the precise number of these cases is 13, two of whom were returned to a third country under the Dublin Convention and two of whom were voluntary returns.[83]

57.  In May 2013, the UN Committee against Torture agreed its concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom. One of its recommendations related to the allegations of torture of Sri Lankan returnees.

The Committee notes that, in view of the allegations and evidences that some Sri Lankans Tamils have been victims of torture and ill-treatment following their forced or voluntary removal from the State party [i.e. the UK], the High Court ordered on 28 February 2013 the suspension on the removal of Tamil failed asylum seekers to Sri Lanka. The Committee is nevertheless concerned that the State party has not yet reflected this evidence in its asylum policy (art. 3).

The Committee recommends that the State party observes the safeguards ensuring respect for the principle of non-refoulement, including consideration of whether there are substantial grounds indicating that the asylum-seeker might be in danger of torture or ill-treatment upon deportation. The Committee calls upon the State party to submit situations covered by article 3 of the Convention to a thorough risk assessment, notably by taking into consideration evidence from Sri Lankans whose post removal torture claim were found credible, and revise its country guidance accordingly.[84]

58.  Another area where credibility assessments are judged to be particularly poor is in the cases of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) asylum applicants. The Law Society told us that there now exist "extraordinary obstacles" to establishing credibility in this area, a statement supported by ILPA.[85] In July 2010, in HJ (Iran) and HT (Cameroon), the Supreme Court unanimously held that the underlying rationale of the Refugee Convention was to enable a person to 'live freely and openly' without fear of persecution. In its ruling the Court set out a four stage test for determining these claims:

(i) Is the individual gay, or will he be perceived to be?

(ii) Do openly gay people in the country of origin face a well-founded fear of persecution?

(iii) Will the individual be open on return? If so then he is a refugee.

(iv) If the individual is voluntarily discrete, only because of family or societal pressure, then the individual is not a refugee.[86]

59.  This judgement, in effect overturned the Border Agency's previous emphasis on 'voluntary discretion' to conceal their sexuality as an option for claimants to avoid persecution. However it is alleged that the decision has in practice resulted in caseworkers seeking to undermine claims to personal identification as lesbian or gay. A leading barrister in this area, S. Chelvan, described the recent change in approach towards LGBTI asylum applicants.

Up until July 2010 the UK Border Agency refused claims on the basis of 'voluntary' discretion, and had no concerns about establishing the sexual identity of the gay applicant. Suddenly, since July 2010, supposedly due to a fear of false claims, the shift has been from discretion to disbelief. The battleground is now firmly centred in 'proving' that they are gay.[87]

In turn, this has led to claimants going to extreme lengths to try and meet the new demands of credibility assessment in this area, including the submission of photographic and video evidence of highly personal sexual activity to caseworkers, presenting officers and the judiciary.[88]

60.  As with claims based on gender, there is an inherent complexity to LGBTI claims as persecution will come from family or community actors as well as state actors. This can raise a number of difficulties in states which are nominally 'safe' but have high levels of prejudice against LGBTI persons. For instance, on the 19th June 2013 the Court of Appeal found that Jamaica is not a safe country for LGBTI persons, yet many countries including Jamaica are designated as safe under section 94 (4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act and the applicant therefore loses the right for an in-country appeal to a decision.[89]

61.  UNHCR notes updated guidance on these issues which was published in July 2012 is not being applied by decision-makers and that, without proper training in the standards and legal principles that the guidance outlines, its impact "will remain minimal and there will continue to be a disparity between policy and practice." UNHCR is currently developing training in cooperation with UKBA to ensure decision-makers correctly apply the relevant legal standards in relation to credibility assessment.[90]

62.  We were concerned to hear that the decision making process for LGBTI applicants relies so heavily on anecdotal evidence and 'proving that they are gay'. As the court determined (point i above) the test should be whether people are gay or perceived to be so. In cases such as that of Brenda Namigadde, it is not appropriate to force people to prove their sexuality if there is a perception that they are gay. The assessment of credibility is an area of weakness within the British asylum system. Furthermore, the fact that credibility issues disproportionately affect the most vulnerable applicants—victims of domestic and sexual violence, victims of torture and persecution because of their sexuality—makes improvement all the more necessary.

63.  The impact of the credibility assessment for LGBTI applicants from countries designated as safe under section 94 (4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act may be significant and the Committee recommends that the Government review the status of other countries on this list to protects the rights of LGBTI asylum seekers.

Detained Fast Track

64.  The Detained Fast Track (DFT) is used where, following the screening interview, it appears that the individual circumstances of a claim for asylum have been identified as uncomplicated and a decision to grant or refuse asylum can be made quickly. Asylum Aid have questioned whether the screening process is an appropriate method of establishing the credibility of an applicant.[91] Both the UNHCR and Freedom From Torture have raised concerns that victims of torture can be inadvertently routed in to the Detained Fast Track despite the Government's commitment that

DFT processes do not under any circumstances apply to children. Further defined exclusion factors apply, acknowledging that particularly vulnerable people should not ordinarily be detained. Such groups include trafficking victims, those with independent evidence of torture, heavily pregnant women, and those with medical conditions that cannot be satisfactorily managed in a detained environment.[92]

As we have already noted, fear of state officials and feelings of shame regarding their torture may lead to victims of torture not disclosing the full details of their claim during the screening process. Furthermore, the requirement that victims of torture provide independent evidence of their torture in order to be excluded from the Detained Fast Track is overly onerous as many applicants won't have taken legal advice prior to the screening interview and so won't be aware that they need such evidence.[93]

65.  John Vine has also criticised the method of allocating cases to the Detained Fast Track, highlighting that a third of the cases which he looked at during an inspection of it were wrongly allocated and the detainees were subsequently released.[94] UNHCR noted that the short time frame that case owners in the Detained Fast Track worked to meant that applicants very often did not have sufficient time to gather evidence of their claim. UNHCR have also raised concerns about the quality of decision making within the Detained Fast Track, including the fact that decision makers had a lack of clear understanding of the criteria under which a person can be classified as a refugee.[95] Freedom From Torture have suggested that people should not be routed in to the Detained Fast Track until they have had an opportunity to seek legal advice and have fully understood what is required of them.[96]

66.  We are concerned about the operation of the Detained Fast Track. It appears that a third of those allocated to the detained fast track are wrongly allocated and that many of those wrongly allocated are victims of torture. Such a high number of incorrect allocations should be addressed and we recommend that the Home Office implement a service standard which reflects a substantial reduction in the number of incorrect allocations per year and that annual audits be carried out and published.

Legal representation

67.  ILPA have suggested that the earliest possible access to legal advice would speed up the asylum process,[97] a view supported by many of those who submitted evidence to the inquiry.[98] The Home Office have trialled an Early Legal Advice Project which provided free legal advice and representation to asylum seekers in a pilot region which examined such a proposal. The evaluation of the project, published in May 2013, found that the costs of providing early legal advice exceeded the savings that were made from the reduced number of appeals.[99] However, the evaluation also found that the project improved decision making in complex cases and that case owners, applicants, and legal representatives reported that the process had increased confidence levels in initial decisions. [100] The evaluation also noted that for the project to be effective, evidence should have been provided prior to the substantive asylum interview (known as "front-loading") yet this happened in only 20% of cases[101] and the only evidence required to be submitted prior to the substantive interview, the witness statement, was received after the deadline required by the project guidelines (3 days prior to the interview) in 57% of cases.[102]

68.  We commend the Home Office for running such a detailed and lengthy pilot. We note that there are many positive aspects which emerge from the Early Legal Advice Project and we recommend that the Government invest in identifying how to improve the early identification of complex cases which would benefit from early legal advice, the front-loading of evidence, and the timely submission of witness statements.


69.  The Government's proposed reforms to the legal aid system were raised as an issue of concern by many of those who submitted evidence to the inquiry. Alison Harvey of ILPA cited concerns about the residency test which means that an applicant qualifies for legal aid whilst going through the asylum system, once they have been recognised as a refugee they will have to wait for twelve months before being eligible for legal aid. She noted that this was contrary to Article 16 of the Refugee Convention, which requires that refugees have legal aid on the same terms as nationals. She also noted that failed asylum seekers would not be eligible for legal aid if they wished to challenge decisions made around support.[103] This is particularly concerning considering recent research by the Asylum Support Appeals Project found that 80% of appeals against decisions to refuse support to destitute asylum seekers were allowed.[104] There is also a degree of confusion as to whether asylum seekers who are making a fresh claim will be entitled to legal aid to make that claim or whether they will have to submit the evidence for the claim prior to becoming eligible.[105] If the latter is the case then the likelihood is that the fresh claim will be made, and further evidence submitted toward the end of the process once the applicant has retained legal representation. The submission of further evidence at a late stage would cause delays within the asylum process and could lead to a negative decision being overturned at appeal. If the applicant was able to access legal representation at the start of the process, the likelihood is that all the evidence would be available at the point of making the claim and therefore speed up the process.


70.  The quality of legal advice available to asylum applicants was also raised as an issue of concern by both MPs and witnesses alike. The existence of unscrupulous and poor practitioners is compounded by fixed-fee funding which results in a set fee for work done, no matter how many hours have been spent on a case[106] and a limit on the number of case starts, which means that practitioners with good reputations are oversubscribed whilst their less well-thought-of counterparts are then the only option for applicants who need to access legal aid funding.[107] Such a system shows no appreciation for the quality or difficulty of work being performed. The Coalition's programme for government stated that it would "explore new ways to improve the current asylum system to speed up the processing of applications."[108] This could be assisted by ensuring the provision of high-quality legal advice.

71.  The Mission and Public Affairs Council of the Church of England noted that asylum seekers, especially those who are detained, often complain informally about the quality of service from legal practitioners, but are rarely willing to make a formal complaint. They suggested that it would be helpful if third sector organisations were able to raise concerns about legal representatives, based on clear evidence, to either the Legal Ombudsman or the Solicitors' Regulation Authority.[109] The Legal Services Ombudsman will currently accept complaints only directly from the affected client.

72.  We are not persuaded of the benefits of imposing a residency test for refugees and recommend that the Government ensure that its legal aid proposals are compliant with the relevant provisions of the Refugee Convention. We also recommend that it introduce a system of monitoring quality within its allocation of legal aid so that the public purse is not funding (and therefore propagating the existence of) bad legal advice. We suggest that if the Government wishes to reduce the amount of money spent on legal aid within the asylum system then it ought to focus on improving the quality of decision making in both the area of asylum claims and asylum.

73.  We invite the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and the Legal Ombudsman to work together to produce guidance on complaining about solicitors who work on asylum applications and the possible outcomes of such a complaint. We recommend that such guidance is produced in 'plain English' to ensure that it is accessible to asylum applicants as well as third sector workers.

48   Q29 Back

49   Qq63 & 299; Ev 138 Back

50   Ev 54, para 33 Back

51   SR 05/08 Back

52   The use of country of origin information in deciding asylum applications: A thematic inspection, ICIBI, 2011, p25 Back

53   Q98 Back

54   Ev 61 Back

55   GJ & Others, (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC), paras 34-47 Back

56   GJ & Others, (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC), para 237 Back

57  Back

58   Asylum Aid, Unsustainable: the quality of initial decision-making in women's asylum claims (2011), p5 Back

59   Ev 51, para 13 Back

60   1951 Refugee Convention Back

61   Siddiqui N. et al, Safe to Return? Pakistani women, domestic violence and access to refugee protection - A report of a transnational research project conducted in the UK and Pakistan (Manchester: South Manchester Law Centre, 2008), p. 45 Back

62   Hathaway J., Law of Refugee Status (Toronto: Butterworths Law, 1991), p. 125. Back

63   Unsustainable, p11 Back

64   Q48 Back

65   Q49 Back

66   Q65 Back

67   Q59 Back

68   Q60 Back

69   Q52 Back

70   Ev 90, para 5 Back

71   Q168 Back

72   Ev w189, para 9 Back

73   Q46 Back

74   Beyond Proof: Credibility assessment in the EU asylum systems, UNHCR, May 2013, p29 Back

75   Beyond Proof: Credibility assessment in the EU asylum systems, UNHCR, May 2013, p35 Back

76   Beyond Proof: Credibility assessment in the EU asylum systems, UNHCR, May 2013, pp132-3 Back

77   Ev 91, para 14 Back

78   Ev 99, para 5.3 Back

79   Ev w265, para 1 Back

80   Ev 45, para 11 Back

81   Numbers taken from data supplied by the UKBA to the Committee relating to Q1-4 2012 Back

82   The FOI response and Freedom from Torture's statement in response to this are available at Back

83   Letter from the Treasury Solicitor's Department to the Administrative Court Office at the Royal Courts of Justice regarding 'Enforced returns to Sri Lanka by charter flight on Thursday 28 February 2013' (22 February 2013). Back

84 Back

85   Ev 142, para 33 & Q268 Back

86   Ev w126, para 5 Back

87   Ev w126, para 7 Back

88   Ev 143, para 33 [Law Society] Back

89   The Queen (on the application of JB) (Jamaica) v the Secretary of State for the Home Department (C5/2012/1662)  Back

90   Ev w189, para 8 Back

91   Ev 51, para 20 Back

92   Ev 46, para 19 Back

93   Ev 93, para 1.3 [Freedom from Torture] Back

94   Q32 Back

95   Ev w188, para 5 Back

96   Q103 Back

97   Q266 Back

98   Ev w1 [Oldham Unity Destitution Food Project]; Ev w39 [London Destitution Forum]; Ev w40 [Destitution Concern Bradford]; Ev w56 [Refugee Women's Strategy Group]; Ev w71 [Lewes Group in Support of Refugees and Asylum Seekers]; Ev w77 [Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum]; Ev w86 [Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group]; Ev w101 [Bristol Refugee Rights]; Ev w107 [Susan Gairdner]; Ev w129 [Mission and Public Affairs Council of the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England]; Ev w141 [Refugee Survival Trust]; Ev w144 [ASSIST Sheffield]; Ev 92 [Freedom from Torture]; Ev w299 [LGBT Unity Scotland] Back

99   Evaluation of the Early Legal Advice Project Final Report, Home Office, May 2013, p7 Back

100   Ibid. p18 Back

101   Ibid. p35 Back

102   Ibid. p44 Back

103   Q265 Back

104   Ev w202, para 6 Back

105   Q265 Back

106   Ev w33 [Churches Refugee Network]; Ev 92 [Freedom from Torture] Back

107   Q264 Back

108 Back

109   Ev w132, para 9 Back

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