Appeal Court upholds ruling on late asylum claims

The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that it was wrong for
the Government to refuse support for six late-claiming asylum
seekers, writes Anabel Unity Sale.

Earlier this week, three Court of Appeal judges upheld last
month’s ruling by Mr Justice Collins in the High Court that the
Government breached the human rights of six asylum seekers it had
refused to support.

Under section 55 of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act
the Government claimed the six asylum seekers had applied for
asylum too late to be applicable for state benefits (news, page 8,
27 February).

The Court of Appeal also said that the new law, which came into
effect on 8 January, could work effectively if changes were

Home secretary David Blunkett said: “This ruling upholds the
view, passed by Parliament, that it is entirely reasonable to
expect people fleeing from persecution to claim asylum as soon as
reasonably practicable if they want support.”

He added that the government had already made changes to its
procedures “to ensure that individual cases get full and fair

Homelessness charity Shelter director Adam Sampson welcomed the
decision, and called on the government to “withdraw this unworkable
and degrading piece of legislation”.

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