When is Family Life Family Life? A Look at Deportation Cases

September 27, 2011 by 1 Crown Office Row

In A.A. v. the United Kingdom, a recent case involving the deportation of a young Nigerian man, the Court faced, once again, the question whether relationships between adult children and parents/siblings amount to family life in deportation cases. The Court’s Fourth Section did not give a clear answer to this question. The 24-year-old applicant resided with his mother and did not have children of his own [also see Rosalind English’s post].

In this post, I take a quick look at the Fourth Section’s reasoning on this issue and try to situate it in the wider context of the Court’s deportation case law. One word of caution:  this is an attempt to briefly look at one specific question the Court asks to decide whether the deportation has interfered with an applicant’s right to respect for her family life. Do the ties invoked by the applicant constitute family life within the meaning of Article 8 § 1? To be more specific, do relationships between adult children and parents/siblings amount to family life in deportation cases?


New Training Centre for Children Who Have Been Trafficked

Iranian Refugees Action Network welcomes the new ECPAT UK National Training Centre in central London offers a comprehensive training programme that supports and develops good practice in safeguarding children.

ECPAT's new National Centre

Training is based on up-to-date research and evidence, such as case law, the experiences of children, government guidance and legislation.
Courses include:
•Safeguarding Children: an Introduction to Child Trafficking
•Safeguarding Children: an Advanced course on Child Trafficking
•The Trafficked Children Toolkit developed by the London Safeguarding Children Board
There are also thematic seminars on issues such as:
•Good practice in risk assessments
•Good practice in age assessments
•Social networking
•Private fostering
•Children’s rights
Bespoke sessions – includes topics such as:
•Creative therapy for children
•The health needs of children who may have been trafficked
•The impact of trauma and abuse
•Caring for a child who may have been trafficked
•Identifying and meeting the needs of children who may have been trafficked
•Protecting children in the UK and overseas
For further details, or to make a booking, please email training@ecpat.org.uk or telephone 0207 233 9887. Click on a course for a booking form.

Training is coordinated by ECPAT UK’s training manager, Karen Sizeland – a qualified social worker, trainer and children’s advocate. She has wide experience of working child protection, including: in a local authority Children and Families Team; as a child protection officer at the NSPCC; as a freelance advocate for two national children’s charities; and as a training manager for an independent fostering agency.

Alongside Karen, ECPAT UK’s project officer, Kalvir Kaur – a solicitor of nine years’ post-qualification experience – will also deliver training. Kalvir has extensive experience with separated children and victims of trafficking, and is an experienced trainer, having delivered training to legal representatives and NGOs. Her abilities were recognised when, in 2008, she received the Immigration Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award. 

Kalvir is renowned for her ability to effectively interview child victims of trafficking and is an advisory member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) Refugee Children’s Project, a trainer for the ILPA and co-author of ‘Working with refugee children: current issues in best practice’, which was published in May 2011.

Important Legal Update for Refugees Wanting to Come to the UK and NGO’s that Assist Them

Thanks to NCADC for this important update (10th September 2011):

Legal update from ILPA, 9 September

ILPA website

Update 42 now available at ILPA’s new improved website, alongside a whole load of other useful info sheets, legal briefings and publications…

  • Asylum Screening Unit – making asylum claims;
  • Family Returns – opening of new detention centre for children;
  • HM Inspectorate of Prisons – reports on 2 deportation charters and on HMP Long Lartin;
  • Legal Aid Bill – latest update;
  • Students – changes to the Immigration Rules;
  • Relatives of Points Based System migrants;

Asylum Screening Unit

The “Making Asylum Claims 2” information sheet should be read with last month’s “Making Asylum Claims” information sheet. It highlights that the UK Border Agency is now seeking to take information by telephone from asylum-seekers before they come to the Asylum Screening Unit in Croydon. It gives details of the information that asylum-seekers (or their representatives) may be asked for if they wish to make an appointment to claim asylum at the Unit.

Family Returns

On 5 September 2011, the UK Border Agency announced the opening of its new pre-departure accommodation (CEDARS) at which families may be detained prior to removal. Read the briefing here

HM Inspectorate of Prisons

1. Inspections of removals to Jamaica and Nigeria
2. report on HMP Long Lartin – foreign nationals suspected of terrorist involvement
The reports are available at HMI prisons webpages

Legal Aid Bill

The Public Bill Committee has now had three sittings considering the provisions in the Bill. It has finished considering all the civil Legal Aid provisions. The Government has made only one immigration-related concession to date – that it will make some provision for Legal Aid for some victims of domestic violence. It has not acted on this yet. Meanwhile, the debates in Committee on the Bill have generally avoided immigration matters.


There have recently been several changes to the Immigration Rules affecting students and educational bodies sponsoring students to study in the UK. These changes mean that the March 2010 “Students” information no longer contains reliable information. Current information is provided by the “Students 3” and “Points Based System – Sponsors (Tier 4)” information sheets.

Relatives of Points Based System migrants

The “Points Based System – Dependants” information sheet provides current information about relatives of Points Based System migrants (students and workers).


Immigration Bail Hearings: A Travesty of Justice? – A detainee’s view

Immigration Bail Hearings: A Travesty of Justice? – A detainee’s view

From the Campaign to Close Campsfield:


“This judge completely ignored the ethical requirement of the profession that  gives no room for any partiality between the contending parties. He addresses me uncaring of the consequences of his utterances. The hatred he has for me was so manifest. He was blunt in his approach and he was openly prejudiced towards me. I felt so humiliated by his actions.”

 “He reacted stating that his advice for me was to withdraw all my judicial review claims and get on the plane to Nigeria if I do not want to continue suffering myself in detention. He said I’m the one suffering myself and he could not help my situation unless I help myself by getting on the plane to Nigeria. He never commented on my medications and condition in particular but concluded that the onus is on me to save myself the pain of detention.”

Extracts of complaint from Abiola Ayobola, 28 July 2011, then a detainee at Campsfield House, about his bail hearing held via video link.

Read the detailed complaint in full

Read the contrasting five-line long refusal of bail note from the judge

See also the Campaign’s report Immigration Bail Hearings: A Travesty of Justice

A snapshot into the ordeal of an Iranian family seeking asylum in Europe for 12 years

(By Kurdishblogger.com)


I was recently asked to translate a letter for a family who are seeking asylum in Norway.

In this letter, the father of of the family, pleads with the immigration authorities in Norway to allow him to work legally to make ends meet. He has been living in Norway for eight years.

Over the years I have translated so many letters for Iranians and Kurds who have been in similar dilemmas.

They can not go back to the oppressive regimes they have fled from, nor can they live as ordinary members of society, in the places that gave them some sanctuary, because they have no status – their application for asylum has been turned down.

This is the translation of the final paragraph of the letter, which reflects the unbearable lives of hundreds of families who are stuck in Europe.

“At the end, I request again that you have mercy on me and my family and do not allow us to endure this difficult condition more than this.  After living in Europe for 12 years it is not fair that I do not know where I belong and who is responsible for my well-being. As to my country Iran, there is no way I can go back there as long as the Shiite clerics rule and my problems with the government and the revolutionary guards remain. And as to my status here, even though I have lived here almost for eight years, I do not still have a personal identity card. Therefore I have become like a stateless person and the hope of my family and myself now rests with your kindness and generosity.”

Read the article and a snapshot of the letter, translated by Kurdishblogger.com, here.