February 26, 2003Think-tank Migrationwatch has warned that the outcome of the appeal on 'late asylum claims' is only the tip of an iceberg that could seriously damage the Government's new Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 - seen as crucial to reducing soaring asylum numbers.
A legal opinion, available in full in the Research Papers secton of the site, paper 'H'] says that apart from the shortcomings identified in Home Office procedures on section 55 decisions, the judge held that there was a breach of Article 6 of the Human Rights Act by reason of the absence of any right of appeal against an adverse decision.
'If denial of a right of appeal against a decision by the Secretary of State is indeed to be treated as a breach of Article 6, that will completely undermine major provisions of the Act which were designed to speed up the processing of asylum claims by denying rights of appeal in various important categories of cases,' says the opinion.
'One day the government will have to face up to the fact that very substantial changes to international Conventions, if not actual withdrawal, are the only answer. We hope that this is sooner rather than later,' said Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of MigrationwatchUK.