Removing asylum seekers to processing centres outside the UK would be unlawful

According to leading immigration barristers Ian MacDonald QC and Nadine Finch, the UK
government proposals to remove asylum-seekers to holding and processing centres outside
the the UK would breach the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention and the
European Convention of Human Rights. Their legal opinion on the matter was obtained by
Justice and argues that:

“automatic removal of asylum seekers to a location outside of the
European Union before substantive consideration of their application
would not conform with internationally recognised human rights and
refugee protection standards and is likely to be in breach of the United
Kingdom’s obligations under the Refugee Convention”

and would give rise to

“a serious possibility of a breach of the European Convention on Human

Anneliese Baldaccini of Justice comments:

“The government should continue to uphold its obligations under
international human rights and refugee law by allowing refugees who
reach the UK to claim asylum here in the UK”.

Justice press release (pdf file), 20 June 2003; Legal Opinion (pdf file)

EU buffer states and UNHCR “processing” centres and "safe havens": Statewatch coverage


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