Mar9

Of Shepherds and Sheepdogs – Andre Lawrence Shepherd v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland before the Court of Justice of the European Union

Germany, March 9, 2015

An American citizen applied for asylum in Germany on the basis of Article 9(2)(e) of the Qualification Directive (QD). He refused to continue working in the US armed forces serving in Iraq, claiming his continued participation would lead to the commission of war crimes. The referring court stayed proceedings and asked the CJEU to help interpret the act of persecution contained in Article 9(2)(e). In this article, Julian Lehmann dissects the CJEU's opinion and predicts the outcome in Mr. Shepherd's case.

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Mar2

“The Benefit of the Doubt” in Asylum Law

United Kingdom , March 2, 2015

"The benefit of the doubt" is best understood, not as an independent principle to be ranked alongside the lower standard of proof, but rather as an integral part of such a standard.

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Mar1

Forced Removals to Somalia Continue in the Netherlands

THE NETHERLANDS, March 1, 2015

On February 3, 2015 the highest administrative court in the Netherlands—the Dutch Council of State—handed down its judgment in a case concerning the lawfulness of an asylum seeker’s detention pending removal to Somalia.

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Feb4

Establishing a Common European Asylum System by Leaving European Human Rights Standards Behind: Is this the Way Forward?

European Union, February 4, 2015

Things have definitely come to a head between the two European Courts, and for the time being, reconciliation is nowhere in sight [...] Should push come to shove, and national authorities be placed before a real dilemma between respecting EU Law or respecting ECHR Law, the ECJ might find that its judicial policy is not conducive to the authority and uniform application of EU Law [...] The irony is that, in following its perilous course, the ECJ is striving to place the Union’s AFSJ and CEAS on solid foundations. In fact, it is undermining them, along with human rights protection in the EU and beyond. Consider this: should the NS test eventually supplant the Soering test in the operation of the Dublin system, the ECJ will effectively have built a “systemic deficiency” – a rule producing serial violations of the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment.

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Jan7

One Year after the Korean Refugee Act

South Korea, January 7, 2015

The Republic of Korea became a signatory of the Refugee Convention in 1992, shortly thereafter inserting just a few articles into its domestic immigration laws to adhere to the required procedures of refugee recognition under the Convention. By 2008, applications for refugee status had not exceeded 2,000, and the number of recognized refugees remained around 100. While it was undeniable that Korea had made steady progress in refugee protection, the pace was deemed unsatisfactory and public criticism was common. In 2012, the South Korean parliament passed Law No. 11298 of 2012, Refugee Act [hereinafter “Refugee Act”], which went into effect in 2013, making the Republic of Korea the first Asian country to have an independent law for refugee protection.

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Dec8

No Refuge From Climate Change

New Zealand, December 8, 2014

In a June 4, 2014 decision the New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal dismissed a Tuvalu family’s appeal from a 2013 Refugee Status Branch decision denying them refugee and protected persons status, while contemporaneously issuing a separate opinion granting residence visas to the very same family.

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Dec3

Historic U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals Decision Recognizes Domestic Violence and Gender as the Basis for Asylum

U.S, December 3, 2014

Lawyers and scholars have been advocating for years for women to be fairly treated under our asylum statute, and one critical issue in this regard has been recognition of domestic violence as a potential basis for asylum. On August 26, 2014, after 20-years of a long and “bottom-up” movement for legal change, the Board of Immigration Appeals (B.I.A. or Board) issued an historic decision, recognizing that gender could be a cognizable characteristic for asylum eligibility purposes, and that domestic violence could, with proper evidence submitted, be the basis for a grant of asylum. The decision represents a ground-breaking reversal of the Board’s 15-year old denial of a claim based on domestic violence, Matter of R-A, issued in 1999

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Nov19

Supreme Court of Canada and “Serious Non-Political Crimes”

Canada, November 19, 2014

On October 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its long awaited decision in Febles v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), interpreting the scope of Article 1F(b) of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees as implemented through the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

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Nov10

UNHCR Faces an RSD Crisis

World-wide, November 10, 2014

In 2013, around one in five people who sought individual refugee status determination applied not to a government, but to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). While UNHCR reports that individual asylum applications as a whole rose globally from 2012 to 2013 by 15 percent, the burden of that increase was disproportionately absorbed by UNHCR, with a 61 percent increase in individual applications to UNHCR offices.

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Nov10

South African Court Affirms Refugees’ Right to Self-Employment

South Africa, November 10, 2014

In September the South African Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed the right of refugees to work and to open businesses in South Africa.

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