A victory for justice

The government has been forced to drop its plans to curtail the
right of appeal for asylum seekers. This is not just a small
concession to head off rebellion in the House of Lords over what
remains a deeply unpopular bill. It is a victory for those basic
principles of justice and common decency that most of us would wish
to govern civilised life.

Jumping the various hurdles necessary to appeal against an asylum
decision had already been made much harder under the one-stop
system, but denying any prospect of an appeal to the courts was
always going too far. It effectively meant that the fate of an
entire group of vulnerable people would have been cut off from
judicial oversight.

Amnesty International’s analysis of the government’s own figures
shows how easy it is to get decisions wrong, sometimes because
information on home countries is inaccurate, sometimes because
consideration of the evidence is hasty or unfair. One in five
decisions are overturned on appeal, demonstrating the need for a
proper appeals system that stretches beyond the Home Office’s
internal adjudicators.

At last, fair dealing has prevailed over populism in the creation
of asylum law. It is a momentous achievement.

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