07432 101 211

Excellent result in the Upper Tribunal today, a comprehensive win with the Home Office’s appeal being dismissed represents a good start to the week for this direct access immigration barrister. The win was particularly important given the background and nature of the claim.

The client in this case is an Iranian Kurd. He arrived in the United Kingdom and claimed asylum. The Secretary of State refused his asylum claim on the basis that he was not being truthful and that in any event he would not be at risk as a failed Kurdish asylum seeker.

The solicitors, the excellent Barnes Harild and Dyer and the equally excellent Mo Mozid instructed me on his appeal before the First Tier Tribunal (“FTT”), presumably as I have done and won numerous fresh claim Iranian asylum seeker cases over the last year. The appeal was supported by 2 reports from Professor Joffe. These had also been used in the JR claims that culminated in the Upper Tribunal quashing the decision to refuse a fresh claim on the basis that the Prof Joffe report did not “trump” the old CG case of SB (Iran) of 2009. Following the UT case in Rashid which in itself followed the grant of permission in 5 other cases the Secretary of State has taken to conceding all the Iranian fresh claim JRs I have been instructed in.

The appeal itself was heard at Hatton Cross and allowed on article 3 grounds on the basis of his ethnicity and risk on return. The Immigration Judge accepted my arguments. The Secretary of State appealed on basis that SB was determinative of the issue and that the IJ had erred in placing reliance on Professor Joffe’s report. The FTT granted permission.

At the hearing today, the Senior Presenting Officer argued that the appeal should be allowed (i.e. that the Appellant should lose). I submitted that the IJ had reached proper findings on what was a detailed and properly sourced expert report and that there was nothing in the determination which amounted to an arguable let alone definite error of law.

The Upper Tribunal Judge was impressed by my argument and dismissed the Home Office appeal. The UTJ accepted that the report of Professor Joffe was detailed and that he was entitled to make the findings he came to. The UTJ agreed that SB (Iran) did was not authority for the proposition that Iranian Kurds would not be at risk. The UTJ agreed that he would be at risk.

This is an excellent decision and adds to the canon of other Iranian cases that have succeeded. I have won cases now in the FTT, UTT and also numerous JRs. I wonder whether the Secretary of State will actually run the risk of there being a CG case which on the evidence before us at the moment is likely to open the floodgates to other Kurdish cases or whether she will allow the cases to be argued (and won) on a case by case basis. I will update as further developments happen.

Paul Turner is a highly regarded direct access immigration barrister and is the head of Imperium Chambers, Grays Inn Buildings, Grays Inn, he also practises from Mansfield Chambers, the Chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, 5 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1LG and a door tenant at 39 Park Square Leeds LS1 2NU and is licensed by the Bar Council to provide advice and representation directly to the public.