The Court of Appeal reserved judgement last week on the home
secretary’s bid to overturn a High Court ruling that new asylum
laws breached asylum seekers’ human rights (news, page 5, 6
The case centres around section 55 of the Nationality, Immigration
and Asylum Act 2002 that demands new arrivals in the UK claim for
asylum “as soon as reasonably practicable” in order to be eligible
for support from the National Asylum Support Service.
Last week, Lord Goldsmith QC, representing David Blunkett, said
there were “many errors of law” in the original ruling and that its
effect was to frustrate the will of parliament.
However, in a speech to the Oxford Lyceum last week, lord chief
justice Lord Woolf said: “By upholding the Human Rights Act the
courts are not interfering with the will of parliament. On the
contrary, when they apply the act, the judges are protecting the
public by ensuring that the government complies with the laws made