Clause 7 - Abandonment of appeal

Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 20 October 2005.

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Photo of Evan Harris Evan Harris Science, Non-Departmental & Cross Departmental Responsibilities 3:00, 20 October 2005

I beg to move amendment No. 95, in clause 7, page 4, line 25, at end add—

'(4B) This section shall not apply where an applicant's appeal has been allowed on human rights grounds but dismissed on Refugee Convention grounds and the pending appeal relates to the dismissal of the Refugee Convention claim.'.

I am pleased that we are making progress and I hope that we shall continue to do so. Clause 7 covers the abandonment of an appeal and new section 104(4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 provides that when an appeal is pending, it should be treated as abandoned if the appellant is

''granted leave to enter or remain in the''

UK or leaves the UK. Under the new section, neither of those events would cause an appeal to be abandoned if it was not brought in the UK. Under the amendment, the appeal would not be treated as abandoned if the person is granted leave to enter or remain in the UK on human rights grounds if they are waiting for an appeal against the denial of refugee status. That is just about clear to me even now, as it was at breakfast, and I hope that the Minister will give a positive response to that approach.

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Minister of State (Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality), Home Office

The amendment seeks to prevent an onward appeal from being treated as abandoned if it is allowed, as the hon. Gentleman suggested, on human rights grounds but dismissed under the refugee convention. If the appellant left the United Kingdom while the appeal was pending, their claim for asylum would lapse and the appeal would be pointless.

We agree that if leave is granted for a different purpose—for example, on humanitarian grounds—while an appeal against refusal of refugee status is pending, that might have a significant effect. We will consider the issue further to ensure that the provision   would not give rise to any injustice. There is a point in the amendment, which I am not willing to accept, but I take the point.

The provision that an existing appeal should be treated as abandoned exists to prevent resources from being wasted on hearing an appeal that no longer has relevance because the appellant has been granted leave or has left this country. It was not our intention that a person seeking entry clearance should lose their right of appeal by entering the UK and the clause puts that beyond doubt.

An appellant in the United Kingdom who appeals against a decision of the asylum and immigration tribunal is not required to leave the country if they have an appeal pending under section 104 of the 2002 Act. However, I must consider whether the clause could have unforeseen and unjust consequences, as the hon. Gentleman suggests. I will write to him and, through you, Mr. Illsley, to the Committee with an adjustment if it would have that unforeseen consequence or an assurance that it does not. In that spirit, I ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the amendment and for the clause to stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Evan Harris Evan Harris Science, Non-Departmental & Cross Departmental Responsibilities

Given those terms and in the same spirit, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 7 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 8 ordered to stand part of the Bill.