UK: Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee Report

Report from the parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee on the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Specification of Particularly Serious Crimes Order) 2004 (pdf)

The Order made under s.72(4)(a) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 states that it applies for the purpose of the construction and application of Article 33(2) of the Refugee Convention. Article 33(2) provides for exceptions to the principle that refugees cannot be returned to persecution (“the principle of non-refoulement”). The concern is that this would allow people convicted of serious offences to have their asylum claims dismissed unless they can prove they are "not a danger to the community".

The Order specifies a wide range of offences for this purpose and the Committee is concerned that the Order as drafted is ultra vires the order-making power because it includes within its scope a number of offences which do not amount to “particularly serious crimes” within the meaning of Article 33(2) of the Refugee Convention, properly interpreted.


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