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Amnesty report on the overturning of asylum decisions

Amnesty International and the Still Human Still Here coalition have published a report looking at why so many initial asylum decisions – 25% – are overturned on appeal in the UK.

The research assessed 50 randomly picked cases from four countries that had high rates of overturning on appeal – Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Syria and Iran. The researchers discovered that in 80% of these cases the asylum decision was overturned because of errors in the credibility assessment made by case workers.

According to the report, the majority of the mistakes took four forms:

  • “the use of speculative arguments or unreasonable plausibility findings;
  • not properly considering the available evidence;
  • using a small number of inconsistencies to dismiss the application;
  • and not making proper use of country of origin information.”

“We need an asylum system that gets the decision right first time,” said Jan Shaw, Refugee Affairs Programme Director at Amnesty International UK. “Getting the decision wrong in the first instance causes a great deal of anxiety for asylum seekers and prolongs the period in which they are left in limbo. It is also wasting tax-payers’ money by refusing people on patently spurious grounds, leading to costly and unnecessary appeals.”


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