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Asylum Seekers: Appeal Conditions

Volume 623: debated on Tuesday 20 March 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will ensure that asylum seekers who inform the Immigration Service of their intention to appeal against removal from the United Kingdom on human rights grounds under Section 65 of the Immigration Appeal Act 1999 are permitted to remain in the United Kingdom pending the determination of their appeal. [HL1153]

There is a right of appeal under Section 65 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 against a decision relating to entitlement to leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, which is exercisable if that decision was taken on or after 2 October 2000, when that section came into force.

The right of appeal is normally suspensive. That is to say, anyone who has made an appeal cannot be removed while the appeal is pending.

However, the right of appeal is not triggered until an allegation is made that the decision breaches the person's human rights. Once the appeal right has been triggered, there is a 10 working day period for lodging the appeal and the person will not be removed during that period unless he or she agrees to depart voluntarily.

A statement indicating a possible intention to make an allegation or to appeal at some point in the future is not sufficient to trigger an appeal and therefore does not prevent removal.

People appealing against immigration decisions made before 2 October 2000 cannot benefit from Section 65 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, which is not retrospective. We have given assurances that such people, if they have human rights concerns, may make a separate human rights claim and will have an opportunity to appeal.

We wish to make it clear that we will not provide an opportunity for an appeal on human rights grounds where the human rights issue has been fully considered at an earlier appeal or by the courts or where the human rights claim is based solely on facts which the adjudicator at an earlier appeal or the Immigration Appeal Tribunal or higher court has not accepted. We expect claims by those who wish to benefit from an independent review of their case from a human rights perspective to give some clear indication of how their human rights arguments could result in a different decision. Alternatively, they may of course present a claim based on relevant evidence or circumstances which have arisen since the earlier appeal was dismissed.