New Clause 1 - Asylum and human rights claims: definition

Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 25th October 2005.

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‘(1)Section 113(1) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (appeals: interpretation) shall be amended as follows.

(2)For the definition of “asylum claim” substitute—

““asylum claim”—

(a)means a claim made by a person that to remove him from or require him to leave the United Kingdom would breach the United Kingdom’s obligations under the Refugee Convention, but

(b)does not include a claim which, having regard to a former claim, falls to be disregarded for the purposes of this Part in accordance with immigration rules,”.

(3)For the definition of “human rights claim” substitute—

““human rights claim”—

(c)means a claim made by a person that to remove him from or require him to leave the United Kingdom would be unlawful under section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42) (public authority not to act contrary to Convention) as being incompatible with his Convention rights, but

(d)does not include a claim which, having regard to a former claim, falls to be disregarded for the purposes of this Part in accordance with immigration rules,”.”.—[Mr. McNulty.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Second Reading moved [this day.]

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

I hope that you managed to have lunch today, Sir Nicholas.

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

I am sorry. Let us therefore dispatch this afternoon’s proceedings with the same alacrity as this morning’s.

In essence, new clause 1 is one of the less contentious or complex matters before us. It does two things. Section 113 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 states that an asylum claim and a human rights claim are claims made by a person to the Secretary of State at a place designated by the Secretary of State. In other words, all applications have to be made in person. We prefer to have the flexibility as expressed in new clause 1 that claims under this heading be made, but not necessarily and statutorily, in person. Not everyone can claim in person. We need the flexibility to accommodate the   seriously ill, for instance. Furthermore, it is not usually necessary for a person’s identity to be examined more than once. That can be done in the first instance.

Swapping the primary legislation for immigration rules under clause 42 will give us the flexibility to provide that not all asylum or human rights claims need to be made in person. Immigration rules will also allow us to make explicit provision for special arrangements in exceptional cases such as serious illness, which we are not allowed to do under the existing statute.

New clause 1 also clarifies that further submissions made by a claimant after his asylum or human rights claim has already been decided will not amount to another asylum claim or human rights claim for appeal purposes, if it has been decided in accordance with the immigration rules that the further submissions do not amount to a fresh claim. They may amount to that, but it should not follow that in every instance that they do. The relevant provision of the immigration rules is paragraph 353.

To be regarded as a fresh claim, further submissions must be significantly different from the original claim. This means that the content of the submissions must not already have been considered and must, when taken together with the material considered previously, create a reasonable prospect of success. It is important that the legislation is clear that a claimant whose further submissions are determined not to amount to a fresh claim will not have another right of appeal. Underpinning the rule in primary legislation will create greater certainty in its application. Without trying to provoke cynicism and suspicion, we believe that this is a helpful new clause which tidies things up. We will come on to debate matters of more substance.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.