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Immigration and Asylum Law - Essay Example

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Immigration and Asylum Law

In the House of Lords decision in Islam (A.P.) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department and Regina v. Immigration Appeal Tribunal and Another Ex Parte Shah (A.P.) [1999] 2 W.L.R. 1015 (Conjoined Appeals), Lord Steyn set out a four point criteria that one claiming refugee or asylum status must meet. He opined that under Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention, an asylum seeker must be able to prove that, firstly he/she has a well founded fear of persecution; secondly, that the reason for persecution is as a result of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion; thirdly, that he/she is not within the country of his/her nationality; and fourthly, that he/she is either unable or unwilling to lay claim to protection from his/her country of nationality due to the fear of persecution.
Consequently, having a well founded fea...
Another decided case that buttresses the argument set out in Lord Steyn opinion is Januzi v. Secretary of State for the Home Department and Others [2006] UKHL 5. In Januzi Lord Bingham held that the use of the provision "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted " in Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention constitutes a causative condition upon which all the other conditions for claiming a refugee status hinge on. Thus a person claiming refugee status can claim to be persecuted because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, but if this fear is not a well-founded one, the claim to refugee status would be denied.
In the Islam and Regina cases (cited above) for instance, two Pakistani women - Islam and Shah - had left their native country of Pakistan to the UK and were seeking asylum due to fear of persecution because of being part of a particular social group. Both of them had been physically abused by their husbands and had been accused of infidelity, a crime that carried the penalty of being flogged publicly or being stoned to death under Shariah Law. The two women had also received threats from neighbours after they fled from their husbands' homes and sort refuge with family members. In establishing whether the Islam and Shah had a claim to asylum due to a well founded fear of persecution, Lord Steyn quoted from an Amnesty International Report on the human rights abuses of women in Pakistan. The report stated inter alia that:
". . . several Pakistani laws explicitly discriminate against women. In some cases they allow only the evidence of men to be heard, not of women. In particular, the Evidence ...Show more

Summary

As a signatory to international treaties that relate to the status of refugees, UK immigration and asylum law is subject to the provisions of the international treaties it has acceded to. (Clayton 2006) The right to refugee status or the right to claim asylum in the UK is based inter alia on provisions from the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950…
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