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Immigration: Asylum Gender Guidelines

Volume 689: debated on Monday 5 February 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will act to ensure that the asylum gender guidelines (2000) are observed in all cases where rape is adduced as a specific form of persecution by asylum seekers. [HL1596]

The gender guidelines produced in 2000 are out of date in respect of reference to the law and have been replaced by a growing body of jurisprudence. The guidelines were originally designed to provide guidance for the Immigration Appellate Authority (the predecessor to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal), in considering asylum seekers’ claims under the refugee convention. They have not at any time had binding authority on the AIT.

Immigration judges are independent judicial officers and determine cases on the evidence placed before them. In all appeals, including those involving rape allegations, judges consider case law from the tribunal and the higher courts. Judges also have the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) Equal Treatment Benchbook available to them when conducting hearings and considering appeals involving vulnerable individuals.