Court turns down government appeal

The Court of Appeal has rejected the government’s appeal for a
judicial review of the High Court’s ruling that it was wrong to
refuse to support six late-claiming asylum seekers.

Earlier this week, three Court of Appeal judges upheld last month’s
ruling by Mr Justice Collins 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 2002
the government claimed the six asylum seekers had applied for
asylum too late to qualify for state benefits (news, page 8, 27

But the Court of Appeal said the new law, which came into effect on
8 January, could still work effectively if changes were made.

Director of homelessness charity Shelter, Adam Sampson, welcomed
the decision, and called on thegovernment to “withdraw this
unworkable and degrading piece of legislation”.

However, home secretary David Blunkett, commented: “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

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

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